Business & Economy

Media giant Televisa marks 50th anniversary, moving fast toward digital

Mexico City, Jan 8 (EFE).- Fifty years ago one of Mexico and Latin America’s largest telecommunications conglomerates was born, Televisa, a traditional media giant that now has evolved to compete in today’s media environment by providing a multimodal experience to its users, moving steadily toward increasing digitalization and “streaming” services.

Televisa came into existence in 1973 with the fusion of Televisión Independiente de Mexico and Telesistema Mexicano, the new entity being committed to providing “television via satellite” (Televisa).

“The objectives of the new firm were: enrich programming and diversify income sources via exportation, promotion of shows and support for government broadcasts, while at the same time providing enjoyable entertainment and cultural offerings,” said Televisa on its official Web site.

Today, the company has broadened its horizons with a diversification strategy for its two business lines: entertainment, with content on radio, television, film and events, as well as in telecommunications, with mobile telephone and broadband services.

To do that, the company merged with Univision, with Televisa becoming once again a telecommunications provider and not a creator of multimedia content.

“Over the past year, TelevisaUnivision became more solid and Televisa remained as mainly a telecommunications firm. Some parts that perhaps 10 years ago we could not have imagined were removed from it,” Efren Paez, a senior analyst with Digital Policy & Law (DPL), a telecommunications consulting firm, told EFE.

Paez said that this was part of “an evolution” as a response to the complexity of the current market, where even Televisa has sought to be the main provider with its recent proposal to merge with Megacable, a move that would give it almost 90 percent of the market share among telecom firms operating in Mexico.

In this regard, the DPL analyst said that the new arm of the company was created to provide “a certain amount of calm to the stockholders,” with a company that leaves production and distribution of content to the side and focuses only on expanding its networks, technology, (that is) fiber optics and cable, along with another satellite company, among other things.

Paez said that the result this past year, based on its financial situation, has been “acceptable,” adding that the firm’s main challenge in the future will be to maintain its position with respect to other media and telecommunications firms that today are looking to offer more multimodal services on different platforms.

Jesus Romo, an analyst with the GlobalData consulting firm, said that Televisa is already “an important actor” in the telecom space and has strengthened its content mainly for the Spanish-speaking market in the United States, providing the rationale for its alliance with Univision.

Romo acknowledged that the firm’s main challenge is to differentiate itself from its competitors, and it will have to determine how to strengthen its different advantages and offer a multimodal experience whereby the customer can receive paid-for content at home, receive mobile data and follow programming online.

The firm will be able to invoice customers for all of these services on one bill.

“It’s about how to get the most value, but also to balance how to maintain and not lose the attention of customers on its different platforms, or rather its different channels,” he said.

The GlobalData analyst also said that currently offering this kind of subscription with assorted services included in the bill is a trend that is being replicated throughout Latin America and which comes along with the company making efforts to offer different solutions to the customer base.

In addition, Romo said that digital platforms have been “an issue” for all multimedia companies, something that motivated Televisa to arrange its merger with Univision.

The merger decision was made because the US market “is a very important part of its operations regarding content,” although not so much in Mexico and Latin America, where it’s lost presence in terms of these technological areas.

EFE –/bp

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