Cablevisión up for sale in Paraguay
Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 09-02-2012
Cablevisión, Paraguay's largest provider of pay-TV and broadband services, has been put up for sale by Argentine media company Grupo Clarín.
The announcement came not from the company (although it later confirmed it) but by senior members of the Paraguayan government, following an offer from Grupo Clarín to sell Cablevisión to the national state.
A series of meetings have been held this week to analyse the proposal, with president Fernando Lugo directly involved in the talks with high-level management from Grupo Clarín. The main option being discussed appears to be for Copaco, the state-run Paraguayan telco, to absorb all or part of the MSO.
Copaco has been busy during the past few months preparing to launch its own pay-TV network, which would be based on IPTV technology. Acquiring – or merging with – Cablevisión would give Copaco access to a large pool of TV content currently owned by the cable operator.
Chief among such valuable content are the TV rights to broadcast Paraguay's national football league. Recently, Teledeportes (a Cablevisión company) agreed to pay US$60 million for exclusive TV rights to the tournament for the following nine years.
Cablevisión currently has 118,000 cable TV and 11,000 broadband customers – the latter through its Fibertel brand. They are all based in or around the country's capital city, Asunción.
Should an agreement with Copaco fail to materialise, Cablevisión is holding parallel talks with at least two other Paraguayan pay-TV operators (Tigo and Claro), according to the Argentine MSO's CEO Carlos Moltini.