Q1 increase of 15.4% to1.06 billion pesos
MEXICO CITY – Spanish-language media heavyweight Televisa gave a further sign of rebounding economy with a first quarter net profit up 15.4% to1.06 billion pesos ($86.9 million), brought on by heavy feevee expansion and the consolidation of triple-play services as they begin to find tread. Coming out of the darkest economic year in many, some growth is to be expected; however, the conglom’s 8.3% growth in revenue to just shy of the $1-billion-dollar mark further represents Mexico’s deepening integration into the cable, sat-cast and triple-play economy only bolstered by a strengthening peso and slowly returning ad sales. The web’s efforts to expand not just in subscription but in content offerings gave heft to ad and programming revenue, as the sum total of viewers having access to Televisa programming on Televisa’s or other service providers reached 23.5 million, each of which has access to an average of 5.2 Televisa-produced pay-TV channels. This growth was limited by its investment in content expansion, in particular to its new TDN sports network and the considerable capital employed to secure rights to soccer’s World Cup across Latin America in the countries where it operates. Despite its global expansion into regions like China, where two projects, including a Chinese version of “Ugly Betty”, have been placing steadily in the top five spots for their time slots, programming exports were down 3.8% to $54 million in the quarter year- to-year as currency-exchange-rate losses hit the bottom line. Nevertheless, the web saw a boost in revenue under last year’s new sharing agreement with U.S. Spanish-language TV leader Univision with royalties jumping from $29.9 million to $32.9 million in the period. Televisa-owned satcaster Sky managed to turn back losses suffered recently with the introduction of low-cost provider Dish Network by lowering rates, resulting in 238,000 new subscribers (mostly Mexican) – a record quarterly high. Meanwhile, the network’s cablers Cablevision and the recently added Cablemas and Monterrey-based TVI continue to make headway with affordable triple-play offerings that begin at $41 per month, accruing a 23.8% growth in revenue in the segment to $224 million, a fact that has Mexico’s longtime telcom monopoly Telmex scrambling to compensate. The company invested $305.9 million in the quarter, $214.7 million of which went to Sky followed by $37.4 million to it cablers, as the company moves forward in an effort to become a dominant force in the burgeoning Latin American feevee market.