TV Azteca, S.A.B. de C.V. is a Mexican multimedia conglomerate owned by Grupo Salinas. It is the second-largest mass media company in Mexico after Televisa.[3][4] It primarily completes with Televisa and Imagen Televisión, as well as some local operators. It owns two national television networks, Azteca 7 and Azteca Trece, and operates two other nationally distributed services, adn40 and a+. All three of these networks have transmitters in most major and minor cities.

TV Azteca also operates Azteca Trece Internacional, reaching 13 countries in Central and South America, and part of the Azteca América network in the United States. Its flagship program is the newscast Hechos.

History

Formation

In the early 1990s, the presidency of Carlos Salinas de Gortari privatized many government assets. Among them was the Instituto Mexicano de la Televisión, known as Imevisión, which owned two national television networks (Red Nacional 7 and Red Nacional 13) and three local TV stations. In preparation for the privatization, the Imevisión stations were parceled into a variety of newly created companies, the largest of which was named Televisión Azteca, S.A. de C.V.

With the exception of Canal 22, which was spun off to Conaculta, one bidder won all of the stations. On July 18, 1993, Mexico's Finance Ministry, the Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público (SHCP), announced that Radio Televisora del Centro, a group controlled by Ricardo Salinas Pliego, was the winner of the auction to acquire the "state-owned media package", which also included Imevisión's studios in the Ajusco area of Mexico City. The winning bid amounted to US$645 million. The new group soon took on the Televisión Azteca name for the entire operation and soon challenged Televisa, turning what had been a television monopoly into a television duopoly. The two conglomerates held 97 percent of the commercial television concessions in the country.

Expansion

In 1998, TV Azteca announced an investment of US$25 million in XHTVM-TV, which was owned by Javier Moreno Valle through concessionaire Televisora del Valle de México, S.A. de C.V. Under the deal, Azteca restructured TVM and took control of ad sales and most programming duties, while Moreno Valle's CNI news service retained some primetime space. However, in 2000, Moreno Valle broke the contract with Azteca, alleging Azteca of filling up time allotted to CNI and not fulfilling the obligations in the contract. In December 2002, Azteca used private security guards to retake control of the XHTVM facilities on Cerro del Chiquihuite in Mexico City. However, the Mexican government stepped into the dispute and forced Azteca to relinquish control of XHTVM. In 2005, an employee strike that crippled CNI, Moreno Valle's mounting legal troubles, and a deal with the 5% owner of the concessionaire allowed Azteca to buy the remainder of the station and retake control of XHTVM, under the name Proyecto 40, in 2006.

On March 7, 2011, TV Azteca changed its name to Azteca, reflecting its growth into a multimedia company.[6] However, in July 2015, the TV Azteca name was restored.

TV Azteca is the second largest mass media company in México after Televisa. These two big organizations control the 97% of mass media in Mexico. TV Azteca was funded in 1993 by Ricardo Salinas Pliego. TV Azteca has 31% of the 465 television concessions in México. The auction of the state channels and the granting of further concessions to TV Azteca further strengthen their connection. It also owns Azteca banks, Azteca insurance, Iusacell, programing pay television, cinemas, live theater, news channels, newspapers, Azteca music, an acting school, Azteca consumer products, Azteca internet, Azteca series, Azteca sports, stadiums, etc. TV Azteca is another company which also serves the government however to a much lesser extent than Televisa. TV Azteca also receives lucrative contracts from the Mexican government, and therefore the information that emits is also controlled by the actual government. The news that is normally emitted by TV Azteca is 25% news bulletins that come from advertising, and infotainment relying on celebrities and biased editorials.

Services

Terrestrial networks

In Mexico:

NetworkFlagshipProgramming
Azteca 7XHIMT 7general programming, sports, and first-run telenovelas
Azteca TreceXHDF 13general programming and news
adn40XHTVM 26news and informational shows

Outside Mexico:

NetworkFlagshipProgramming
Azteca AméricaKAZA 541U.S. channel with programming from TV Azteca's three television national networks in Mexico and local news
Azteca GuatemalaN/AGuatemalan channel with programming from TV Azteca's three television national networks in Mexico and local news
Azteca HondurasN/AHonduran channel with programming from TV Azteca's three television national networks in Mexico and local news

Footnotes:

  • 1. KAZA 54 is pending a sale to Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting, who may strip KAZA of its flagship status, and may also add MeTV as an O&O subchannel.

Cable

  • Az Noticias
  • Az Clic!
  • Az Mundo
  • Az Corazón
  • Az Cinema
  • Azteca Trece -1 hora
  • Azteca Trece -2 horas
  • Azteca México - U.S. channel
  • Romanza+ África - African channel

Disputes and controversies

On 5 January 2005, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accused TV Azteca executives (including chairman Ricardo Salinas Pliego) of having personally profited from a multimillion-dollar debt fraud committed by TV Azteca and another company in which they held stock. The charges were among the first brought under the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, introduced in the wake of the corporate financial scandals of that year.

The Federal Radio and Television Law (known as the Ley Televisa) was a bill concerning the licensing and regulation of the electromagnetic spectrum. The LFRT was favorable to both TV Azteca and Televisa (who together control 95 percent of all television frequencies) because it allowed them to renew their licenses without paying for them. According to The Economist, the Ley Federal de Radio y Televisión "raced through Congress confirming the country's longstanding television duopoly" and constituted a "giveaway of radio spectrum and a provision that allows broadcasting licenses to be renewed more or less automatically".[5]

In February 2012, TV Azteca networks (Azteca 7, Azteca 13, and Proyecto 40) were dropped by Mexican cable-TV carriers representing more than 4 million subscribers in a carriage dispute over terms. Cable operators claimed that Azteca wanted to charge a fee by packaging its over-the-air stations with cable networks, such as news and soap opera channels, which potentially represented a higher cost to subscribers. After a nine-month absence, TV Azteca returned gradually to cable operators.[3]

Holdings

TV Azteca is part of the conglomerate Grupo Salinas, which includes the Grupo Elektra franchise of department stores, the Banco Azteca bank, and Seguros Azteca life insurance. TV Azteca also owns two Liga MX soccer clubs, Atlas and Monarcas Morelia.

Acting school

The network has set up an acting school, Centro de Estudios y Formación Actoral (CEFAC). Alumni include Iliana Fox, Luis Ernesto Franco, Adriana Louvier, Fran Meric, Bárbara Mori, Laura Palma and Adrián Rubio.

Record label

The network also owns a record label, Azteca Music,[3] which was founded in 1996.[3]

See also