Televisa wants Telefónica deal

Mexico’s Televisa, the world's largest Spanish-language production company wants to join forces with Spanish telco Telefónica in the pay TV market in order to directly compete with Mexican telco Telmex.

emilio_azcarraga_jean.jpgTelefónica owns Latin American assets as well as its Spanish operations and it seems Telefónica and Televisa are doomed to make business together. Emilio Azcárraga Jean (pictured, left), Televisa's president stated the company "is looking for opportunities" in order to improve its position in the telecommunications market.

"We don't reject an alliance with Telefónica to offer pay TV services as well as internet access and telephony in Mexico", he added.

With this searched-for alliance Televisa is hoping to compete in Mexico’s pay-TV market against Telmex, owned by the world's second richest man Carlos Slim. Telmex plans to offer IPTV from next July and is waiting for a license. At the same time Telmex and its “sister” company América Móvil are Telefónica's two biggest competitors in all Latin America.

On the other hand Telefónica needs a cable operator in Mexico in order to set its worldwide strategy in offering triple play communications together with mobile telephony. Nevertheless Azcárraga conceded negotiations with Telefónica have not yet begun.

Televisa owns Mexico's biggest cableoperator after adding to its subsidiary Cablevision other two operators, Cablemás and TVI. In total, the Mexican company has 1.5 million cable subscribers although this is a low figure compared with Telmex's 18.2 million telephony lines and 2.4 million DSL subscribers.

The possible Telefónica and Televisa alliance has been a constant rumour in Mexico over the last few years since both have a common “enemy”, Telmex. And Mexican cable operators have long tried to persuade the national government to ban Telmex from entering the pay-TV market since they fear its strength.

As for Televisa, the Mexican company has also long had a presence in Spain first through being a founder of former satellite pay TV operator Vía Digital – now merged with Sogecable resulting in Digital+ - and now it owns 40% of new national private channel grupo Imagina's laSexta.

As for laSexta, Televisa is very happy with the way things are developing in the two years since the channel started transmissions. Now the channel is getting over seven per cent of share. So Televisa has important plans for laSexta, co-producing new content for Spain and also importing programming from laSexta to Mexico. The broadcaster has done used a similar strategy in Colombia with alliance with national broadcaster RCN.