Regulator OKs Televisa cable buy

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MEXICO CITY -- Mexican media giant Televisa has received conditional approval from the antitrust agency here to buy a 49% stake in Cablemas, the nation's second-largest cable outfit.

The regulatory body said in a statement Sunday that Televisa must comply with several conditions if it is to get final approval for the $258-million acquisition.

First, since Televisa dominates Mexico's broadcast TV market and owns two of the nation's top pay TV systems, it has 90 days to offer its free-to-air channels to rival cablers.

Additionally, Televisa's Sky Mexico, the nation's lone satcaster, is required to meet certain must-carry requirements.

With more than 700,000 television subscribers and 160,000 high-speed Internet users, Cablemas is a very attractive buy for Televisa as it looks to expand triple-play services nationwide. Televisa also is awaiting approval to acquire a 50% stake in Television Internacional for $70 million, a cable company based in northern Mexico.
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