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Carlos Slim’s America Movil Steps Up Investment in Original Content for Latin America

Carlos Slim’s America Movil pay TV platform is stepping up its investment in content ranging from sports rights to original scripted series distributed throughout Latin America.

America Movil — which counts some 300 million subscribers across its mobile, pay TV, OTT, broadband and landline services — will offer multiplatform coverage of this year’s Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. For the first time in Latin America, subscribers will be able to access up to 20 Olympic events live streaming simultaneously on a range of devices, from desktop computers to tablets and smartphones.

“They can even choose the camera angles,” said America Movil chief Arturo Elias Ayub, the son-in-law and spokesman of Mexican billionaire Slim, whose diverse portfolio of businesses includes telco giants Telmex and America Movil.

America Movil execs are scouting new projects this week at the National Association of Television Program Executives conference in Miami. Elias is attending along with Andres Vazquez, head of content for America Movil. In the U.S., America Movil is behind the streaming network Ora.TV, which is home to Larry King’s daily talk show, among other shows.

America Movil snagged the exclusive broadcast rights to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and to Rio 2016 for all of Latin America (with the exception of Brazil) two years ago. Per Elias, America Movil, which is not allowed to own free TV networks, sold the free TV rights to major Latin American broadcasters while its subsidiary Claro Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN share pay TV rights across Spanish-speaking Latin America.

Meanwhile, America Movil has recently invested in original content for its streaming service Clarovideo, taking a cue from the rapid rise of Netflix Latin America. Original series at present include the comedy “El Torito” and upcoming psychological thriller “La Hermandad,” (“The Brotherhood”), co-produced by and starring Colombian heartthrob Manolo Cardona.

Clarovideo also has exclusive Latin American rights to “Yo Quisiera,” a Mediaset Spain production, which has been streaming on Clarovideo in recent months.

“We either create original content or sign Latin America exclusivity pacts with networks,” said Vazquez. “Distribution remains our biggest strength, however,” he added. Vazquez expects to be meeting with current and potential programming partners at NATPE.

America Movil has made other inroads in the U.S. beyond Ora.TV. In August, the telco launched Cine Dinamita USA as part of Comcast’s Xfinity TV Latino package, with an eye to securing more carriage on other U.S. operators. A berth on Comcast adds 750,000 subs to Cine Dinamita’s existing subscriber base of 2 million across 10 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The channel mainly offers Mexican box office hits from the 1980s and ’90s.

America Movil also owns the largest pre-paid mobile service in the U.S., TracFone Wireless.

(Pictured: “El Torito”)

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