You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mexico set to open up TV, telcos to foreign firms

NBCU's Telemundo among webs likely to be interested


Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto presented a legislative package to Congress Monday that could change the face of local TV and the telecommunications industry, including a fast track provision to create two over-the-air networks in an auction open to foreign congloms.

This would open the market to webs like NBCUniversal’s Telemundo, which tried to enter as a third broadcaster in 2006, breaking the Televisa-Azteca duopoly, but was blocked by technicalities related to foreign ownership rules.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is that neither Televisa nor Azteca, that hold a combined share of some 95% in a market of nearly 110 million potential viewers, will be allowed to bid for the new channels.

The bill will also dissolve two existing regulators and establish an autonomous telco regulator dubbed Ifetel that will be able to give and revoke licenses, place sanctions, as well as order the separation of accounts, functions and structure of outlets with an excessively high concentration.

“The reform is not being done to persecute or damage anyone, but to benefit Mexican society as a whole,” said Manlio Fabio Beltrones — Mexico’s equivalent to the House Majority Leader at Monday’s event.

The proposed reform is a mixed bag for the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim, the owner of Mexico’s main telephony provider Telmex and its parent company, the world’s largest mobile services company America Movil.

While Telmex has repeatedly said it is not interested in an over-the-air net, Slim has been trying to launch an Internet feevee for years, and the bill looks to clear the way at least partially for him to do so. But the proposed rules would also force Slim to open his networks to competitors, a provision bound to hit his bottom line.

More TV

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett's Legal Drama Eclipses the Rest of His Story (Column)

    Like so many other stories these days, the Jussie Smollett legal saga seemed governed not by coherent logic, but by chaos, and, in its absence of narrative, invites any observer to find in it the story they prefer hearing. Smollett, the “Empire” star who had been in legal jeopardy due to allegations of staging a [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild Plans for Agency Pact Expiration: 'There Will Be Difficult Moments'

    Leaders of the Writers Guild of America have sent members contingency plans for the possible expiration of its agency franchise agreement on April 7 — and admitted that it may be a rocky road. Members received the letter Tuesday from the guild’s negotiating committee as the WGA and agents were about the hold their seventh [...]

  • univision-dish blackout

    Univision, Dish Network Reach Carriage Deal After Nine-Month Blackout

    Univision and satcaster Dish Network have reached a carriage agreement after a nine-month blackout that marked one of the longest standoffs between a major programmer and distributor. Univision channels went dark on Dish Network’s satellite and streaming platforms on June 30. The sides were at odds over carriage fees that have become increasingly contentious for [...]

  • Brad Falchuk Sets Overall Deal at

    Brad Falchuk Sets Overall Deal at Netflix

    Brad Falchuk is joining Ryan Murphy at Netflix. Falchuk and his Brad Falchuk Teley-Vision banner have signed an overall deal with the streamer, which sources say is for four years and worth eight figures. He is currently set up under a deal at 20th Century Fox Television, with that deal set to expire on June [...]

  • A still from Cartoon Network’s “Victor

    Cartoon Network's 'Victor and Valentino' to Debut in U.S., Latin America on Saturday

    The folklore of Mesoamerica will come to life in Cartoon Network’s colorful new series “Victor and Valentino,” which premieres in the U.S. and Latin America on Saturday, March 30. The series follows the antics of the titular half-brothers as they learn to get along while unraveling the mysteries of the quirky little town of Monte [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content