TV Azteca


What: TV Azteca has revealed a net growth of 11% in 2017. The company also announced the sale of Azteca America.
Why it matters: TV Azteca has been reinventing itself since 2017; their strategic purpose is focusing on solid media operations in Mexico and maximum profitability abroad.

TV Azteca, one of the two largest producers of Spanish-language television programming in the world, announced financial results for the fourth quarter 2017 and full year 2017.

“TV Azteca began the reinvention process two years ago that laid the foundation for a new era,” said TV Azteca CEO Benjamín Salinas. “The content generated during 2016 and 2017 has given good results and today the audience recognizes the moment of TV Azteca with greater viewership and time spent on our screens.”

Net sales for the quarter were MX $4,005 million, 7% higher than the MX $3,727 million for the same quarter of last year.

“2018 will be a year of consolidation for TV Azteca. The challenge will be to achieve more and better monetization given the opportunity offered by a growing audience on our four broadcast networks,” added Salinas.

Domestic results

Domestic advertising sales grew 6% to MX $3,623 million from MX $3,414 million. Production, programming, and transmission costs were MX $1,862 million, 24% higher than a year ago.

Contribution generated by operations of the media business in Mexico was MX $1,761 million, compared to the MX $1,908 million of the previous year.

U.S. Exports

Content sales to the United States totaled MX $175 million, as opposed to the MX $64 million from the previous year. Revenue for the quarter resulted, to a great extent, from the sale of exhibition rights to matches of the national soccer team and teams from the first division of the Mexican soccer league.

Costs for such content were Ps.100 million, compared to Ps.43 million for the previous year. As a result, the contribution derived from this business segment was Ps.75 million this period, compared to Ps.21 million a year ago.

Sale of assets of Azteca America

TV Azteca announced that in line with the company’s strategic purpose, the company sold the assets of Azteca America to HC2 Network Inc., a holding company based in New York City.

Through this transaction, HC2 Network acquired Azteca America, some rights to part of its programming inventory, marketing, advertising sales, assets, results, and operations. The transaction also includes a seven-year programming and services agreement that will allow HC2 Network to have access, under certain rules, to TV Azteca’s library and programming in Mexico, including certain entertainment shows, talk shows, reality programs, news, series, and telenovelas.

If you weren’t at the TV upfronts last week, or even if you were, here are 5 things Portada’s Editorial Team wants you to know about.

1. Telemundo’s Total Market Innovation

oe Uva, Chairman, Hispanic Enterprises and Content, NBCUniversal; Aracely Arambula "La Patrona" & "Los Miserables"
oe Uva, Chairman, Hispanic Enterprises and Content, NBCUniversal; Aracely Arambula “La Patrona” & “Los Miserables”

It was all about “Total Market Innovation” during Telemundo’s upfront last Tuesday at the Frederic P. Rose Hall in New York City’s Time Warner Building. Mike Rosen, EVP of Advertising Sales, Telemundo Media highlighted Telemundo’s “unique positioning to offer total market solutions to reach Hispanics leveraging NBC Universals’ unmatched reach of more than 90% of all U.S. Hispanics across both languages and all platforms.” Last week’s announcement that Telemundo’s COO Jackie Hernandez Fallous is changing her role to CMO of NBC Hispanic Enterprises and Content also has to be interpreted under the framework of Telemundo/NBCU’s realignment with Corporate America’s Total Market Strategy (e.g see our recent interview with Kimberly Clark’s Lizette Williams) . In her new role, Hernandez will supervise a team to help drive Telemundo integration across the entire NBCU portfolio, and will continue to oversee marketing and consumer research. She will also lead partnership development strategies across NBCU´s platforms.

2. Sports Offerings: The Big Boasting Battle

Photo: Milas Page. Creative Commons.
Photo: Milas Page. Creative Commons.

In this age of  time shifting technology, sports content is the only content that networks can almost guarantee advertisers to drive mass audiences in real-time. Hence the huge investments in programming rights. Univision Deportes boasted its rights for Copa America 2016, the most important soccer competition in the Americas which is celebrating its 100 anniversary. Telemundo showed off its rights for the 2020 World Cup. The NBCU network boasted at its upfront presentation, that starting 2015, together with cable network mun2 it will become the official Spanish-language home of the “2014 FIFA World Cup, offering more than 550 hours of the best soccer in the World across all its platforms.”  The NBCU Hispanic networks also have the exclusive broadcast rights of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  ESPN Deportes on its part promoted its programming in Baseball, Soccer, American Football and Basketball. Highlights included the rights for the 2015 Panamerican Games and the soccer 2016 Eurocup. 2012 launched Qatari Sports Investments (an affiliate of Al Jazeera Media Networks) backed TV channels BeIN Sports and BeIN Sports en espanol has earned a substantial amount of live soccer coverage in just two years including Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A and Conmebol/CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers. Sports media experts asked by Portada were impressed by this, although they point out that the distribution of BeinSports is not yet up to par with the Hispanic Sports Big 3 Networks (Univision Deportes, ESPN Deportes and Fox Deportes).

3. Univision, now ready for the IPO?

Univision, which despite its diversification efforts, last week continued to mostly portray itself as a Spanish-language media play, is likely going to do an IPO (Initial Public Offerings) this year. Of course, no one at Univision said this, but most observers asked by Portada expect this to happen. Financial markets and equity investors are much more open to equity offerings than they were a few years ago when Randy Falco took over as CEO (and his promotion was interpreted as an “IPO friendly” move).

4. Where is Fusion?

Fusion, the Univision-ABC English-language TV channel aimed at Milennials launched last October, was briefly mentioned during Univision’s upfront presentation. But there was little noise made by Fusion at the upfronts; very interesting particularly after the big fanfare around the network’s launch last fall. Perhaps things are not going as well as the network’s executives had anticipated: As a recent Associated Press article points out, “Fusion is still experiencing growing pains, shedding several programs in its first year and restructuring its nightly news show from five days a week to one. One challenge: Many in the audience today are second- and third-generation Latinos, and often they eschew a Latino-only box, even as they crave more stories that include them.”

5. TV Azteca means it

Manuel Abud fotoAt its upfront presentation, Azteca América’s new  CEO Manuel Abud, the former Telemundo’s station Group president, announced Azteca will drop the América from its name. “We believe this change will create a better connection with our audience and more accurately reflect who they are,” Abud said. “An audience that is composed with the largest market segment, the one that makes up the largest U.S. Hispanic population. And yes, I’m going to use the m-word: the Mexicans.”  TV Azteca’s new programming roll-out reflects this concentration on Mexican audiences, approximately 70% of the overall U.S. Hispanic market.

Two weeks before last week’s TV Upfronts the Digital NewFronts took place: Check out Four Things you need to know about the 2014 NewFronts!

What: Telefónica is trying to merge with Mexican operator Iusacell to fight América Móvil dominance in  Mexico .
Why it matters: Law reforms to fight the lack of competitiveness in the country are about to be implemented. Telefónica is planning to increase its share in Mexico’s mobile sector following the reforms.

telefonicaTelefónica is trying to merge with Mexican operator Iusacell to fight América Móvil Mexico’s dominance .

Lack of investment and competition in the Mexican market are mainly due to América Móvil’s strong market position, as the company controls around 70% of the country’s mobile lines and 80% of the fixed line telephony market. This involves a low penetration of telecommunications services forcing Mexicans to overpay for telecommunications services. Between 2005-09 telecommunications services spending reached over US $13 billion.

Widespread reforms to the telecoms industry were signed last year by President Enrique Peña Nieto so as to fight the lack of competitiveness in Mexico’s telephony and television sectors.

These reforms aim to strengthen regulatory institutions to combat monopolies, among other things.They may also allow investment in the Mexican telecoms market to increase to US $55 billion in 2018 compared to US$35 billion in 2012.

Telefónica is planning to increase its share in Mexico’s mobile sector following the reforms. The company had a share of 18.5% of the country’s mobile market with 19.1mn clients at the end of third quarter 2013, while Iusacell’s had a mobile customer base of around 7.4mn as of the end of 2012.However, telefonica has already started to strenghten  its position in the country by providing data and voice coverage for NII Holdings’ Nextel .

Telefonica-Iusacell merger’s dilemma

Despite América Móvil’s dominant share in Mexico’s telephony market, the company has failed to enter the country’s TV sector.

TV sector is already dominated by Televisa and TV Azteca which have a combined 95% share of the country’s broadcast TV market. In addition, Televisa owns half the pay TV segment and has recently acquired a 50% stake in Iusacell. The remaining 50% stake is retained by TV Azteca owner Grupo Salinas.

A Telefonica and Iusacell merger could result in  a strong player across the mobile and pay TV segment , if Televisa or Grupo Salinas were to retain any minority stake in the telecoms operator.This may cause something of a dilemma, as many investments from competitors will be required to reduce América Móvil’s position on the Mexican market. In this regard, regulators may not be willing to allow further market consolidation, given that the aim of the reforms is to provide more options to consumers, rather than less.

Most players will be looking forward the release of the secondary telecoms reform proposals, which will include details that allow companies to meet the terms of the telecoms reform, such as type of penalties and fines to be faced by companies for monopolistic practices.


TV Azteca’s sales in 2013 are projected to see a slight increase of 0.1%, in addition to pre-tax earnings, write-offs and depreciation (Ebitda) of 0% due to weak growth (0.2%) in advertising sales as a result of the industry’s complex environment, says Monex Grupo Financiero.

The TV network’s operating margins and EBITDA will stay unchanged at 32.4% and 36.8%, respectively, as a result of higher costs and sales expenses compared to the company’s total revenues.

Valeria Romo, securities analyst for telecommunications and airports at Monex, notes in a press release that TV Azteca is Mexico’s second-largest television company, with a 32% market share.

The company operates three television channels aimed at different segments of the population: Azteca 7 targets middle and upper-class young people, Azteca 13 is directed at the whole family, and Proyecto 40 targets viewers interested in news and culture.
“Azteca’s strategy in the Mexican market centers on a multi-functional format that uses content production to generate value relationships with viewers and a win-win relationship with companies that place ads on its channels,” says Romo.

Romo believes that Azteca’s value proposition is directed toward generating virtuous relationships between viewers and content, in order to provide advertisers with attractive and therefore more profitable ad space.

According to the report, the company has about 400 national advertisers and over 6,000 local ones, with its 10 largest advertisers representing 24% of the company’s total sales.

Translation: Candice Carmel

From old-fashioned telenovelas to action-packed series and reality shows featuring bikini-clad reporters, Spanish-language producers, broadcast and cable networks gathered this year at the Fontainbleau Hotel in Miami Beach to pitch their content at the annual National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) convention, which this year turned 50. A review of the different deals that were struck.

Hispanic TV and CAbleWhile organizers failed to give out specific figures, NATPE President and CEO Rod Perth said the percentage of attendees from the Spanish-speaking world was “huge,” and reaffirmed the importance of Miami as a hub for Hispanic content. “Miami is a Latin American city in many ways,” Perth told journalists at a Wednesday press conference wrapping the 3-day gathering.

Indeed, most companies offering Spanish-language content to audiences in the U.S. and Latin America were present at NATPE, whether on the Exhibitor floor (almost 40 of the 300 exhibitors offered Spanish-language content) or at the executives suites, including heavyweights like Globo TV, Televisa, Telemundo, TV Azteca and Venevision International. And while many of the deals closed during the gathering involved sales to Latin America, there was a lot of action involving buyers and sellers targeting U.S. Hispanic audiences.

2013 Natpe
Manuel Perez (VP & CFO, Venevision International), Miguel Somoza (Dir. Sales, VVI), Hector Beltran (Dir. Sales, VVI), Irán Castillo, Cristobal Ponte (Ind. Rep., VVI), Cesar Díaz (VP of Sales, VVI), Daniel Rodriguez (Dir. Sales, VVI)

“Latin America is our backyard; but we definitely see the U.S. Hispanic market as the next big hub,” says Cesar O. Diaz, vice president of sales at Venevision International, which was also a prominent NATPE sponsor. “Everyone is now focusing on this market.”

Hosting potential buyers at a suite on the 30th floor of the Tresor Tower, Venevision came to NATPE armed with a few new launches, including telenovelas Rosario and Los Secretos de Lucía and reality show Mi vida en Sayulita, focusing on a group of teenagers living in a laid-back beach resort near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Among the deals announced on or around the conference, MundoFox renewed Minuto para ganar for a second season and it is planning to relocate production to New York City. The show will be produced by Shine Americas. Telemundo struck a deal with Television Nacional de Chile that gives Telemundo U.S., Puerto Rico and Mexico rights for TVN’s telenovela script library. FreemantleMedia Enterprises and Discovery Networks Latin America/U.S. Hispanic signed a deal to bring Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide to more than 44 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico. Sierralta Entertainment closed several deals for Latin Angels Special, a “travel and beauty series that follows top bikini models, film and telenovela actresses as they travel around the world.”

Catering to a Changing Audience

Hispanic television was also the subject of a crowded panel on Wednesday morning called “The Ever Expanding Opportunities in Spanish-language Television.” It featured top executives from MundoFox, Univision and Telemundo, who discussed mostly about the opportunities –and challenges- of targeting a young audience who doesn’t watch TV anymore.

Marcos Santana (Presidente de Telemundo Internacional), Mauro Valdés (Director Ejecutivo TVN) , Joshua Mintz (Vicepresidente Ejecutivo del Area de Programación de Ficción y Gerente General de Telemundo Estudios), Ernesto Lombardi (Gerente de Negocios Internacionales de TVN)
Marcos Santana (Presidente de Telemundo Internacional), Mauro Valdés (Director Ejecutivo TVN), Joshua Mintz (Vicepresidente Ejecutivo del Area de Programación de Ficción y Gerente General de Telemundo Estudios), Ernesto Lombardi (Gerente de Negocios Internacionales de TVN)

In addition of its telenovelas, Telemundo, for instance, has gone beyond traditional formats and is rapidly embracing reality shows and producing more web-only series targeting a young demo. “It’s all about reflecting the evolution of our audience and staying relevant,” said Jacqueline Hernandez, COO of Telemundo, who shared a panel with Univision programming chief Alberto Ciurana; MundoFox evp of programming Adriana Ibañez and Creative Artists Agency exec Christy Haubegger.

Also in an effort to cater to young, U.S.-born Latinos, Univision is preparing for the fall launch of an English-language “news and lifestyle” cable network in a partnership with ABC News. The still-unnamed network is expected to launch in September, though Univision programming chief Alberto Ciurana declined to disclose specifics about its programming content or even its name.

Hispanic TV network execs also touched on the growingly diverse subsegments of the market, which is no longer a monolithic bloc of people who immigrated from Latin America and speak Spanish. There are the Spanish-dominant, the English-dominant, the bilingual and the “assimilated” ones, those who “speak English but curse in Spanish,” joked Harris Whitbeck, the Guatemala-born journalist who moderated the panel.

Language constraints apart, one thing panelists seemed to agree on was the fact that Hispanic audiences are starving for good, relevant content, whether they get it on TV, online or on their mobile devices. “It’s exciting to see that we’re moving from Spanish-language programming to programming to Hispanics,” said Haubegger.


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