Mexico media law in for changes

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MEXICO CITY -- The Supreme Court here Tuesday struck down key provisions of a media law that opponents fear will strengthen the grip of Mexico's powerful broadcast TV duopoly.

The high court ruled that broadcasters cannot automatically gain additional spectrum that is freed up as Mexico undergoes its digital transformation, meaning the frequencies may become available for new players. The court also said that a provision granting 20-year broadcasting licenses is too long.

In recent weeks, Mexico's high court has been reviewing the constitutionality of the polemical media law passed in Congress last year.

A group of dissenting lawmakers appealed the legislation, claiming it contains numerous measures that give unfair advantages to networks Televisa and TV Azteca, which control about 95% of Mexico's broadcast TV stations and pull in a dominant share of the market's ad revenue. If the court's preliminary vote stands, Congress would have to redraft the law.

Potential competitors have been following the Supreme Court's proceedings closely. NBC Universal's Telemundo is one of several companies eyeing the market.
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