Mexico marriage

Giants Endemol, Televisa team on TV venture

MADRID — Dutch TV giant Endemol and Mexican media conglom Televisa are setting up a 50/50 production venture for TV and interactive products to be called Endemol Mexico, confirming industry buzz.

The new company, to be based in Mexico City, will be aimed at producing free and pay TV entertainment programming for the Mexican market.

The agreement will allow Televisa to tap Endemol formats including “Big Brother” over the next five years, and gives Televisa a first option on programs from Endemol’s catalog. Endemol Mexico also will develop formats to sell globally. It also could work for third parties on a commission basis.

Big bucks waiting

Endemol board member Hubert Deitmers said, “Our recent efforts in Latin America have already closed deals totaling $200 million. Given the size of the Mexican market, there is huge growth potential for our joint venture with Televisa.”

Endemol was bought by Spain’s Telefonica Media in March 2000 and is consolidating its presence in Telefonica’s natural overseas TV market, Latin America.

Televisa VP Jose Baston said the alliance would aid Televisa’s focus on its 15-35 target demo and would strengthen “our good relations with Telefonica Media, one of the best partners in the media business.”

The Endemol-Televisa deal comes just a month after Endemol closed a similar joint deal with Brazil’s TV Globo, creating Endemol Globo.

(Marlene Edmunds contributed to this report.)

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