Package aimed at lower-income customers
MEXICO CITY — Four of Mexico’s largest cablers, including two owned by media titan Televisa, unveiled a triple-play package Tuesday aimed at lower-income customers.Dubbed Yoo (rhymes with “toe”), the plan is carried by the nation’s No. 1 cabler Megacable, Cablevision Monterrey and Televisa’s Cablevision Mexico and Cablemas, together covering the vast majority of the nation’s urban areas. The scheme is a strategic alliance that uses one price to reach families that can’t quite afford all three services: telephony, TV and broadband Internet. It is aimed squarely at those living in the nation’s three largest cities — Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City. The principal carriers for these are Megacable, Cablevision Monterrey and Cablevision Mexico, respectively. Televisa’s buyout of No. 2 cabler Cablemas last year helped extend the conglom’s cable presence in areas outside Mexico City. Yoo offers 1 MB Internet, unlimited local calls and 40 channels for 499 pesos ($38) per month, tax included, when paid for by credit card. By using the same name and price in a unified nationwide rollout, the cablers hope to build solid brand recognition. A similar plan already exists with Cablevision Mexico in the capital, which offers 230 channels and 1.5 MB bandwidth for $50. Although Yoo is cheaper, the price tag still equals what the average worker registered with the nation’s social security agency IMSS makes in 2.5 days or nearly 10 days at minimum wage. The system throws down the low-budget digital services gauntlet ahead of the expected introduction of a similar plan from multibillionaire Carlos Slim’s Telmex, which has only recently begun to lose its monopoly of the telco industry. Though already offering phone and Internet services, Telmex has been wrestling with government communications agency Cofetel to get approval for its own TV broadcasting system, a process that has been stymied time and again by legal technicalities and reviews.