Televisa consortium wins fiber-optic auction
TV network and Telefonica, Megacable pay out $69 millionMEXICO CITY -- A consortium that includes top TV network Televisa has won a key fiber-optic auction, allowing the Mexican media giant to expand its voice, video and data services nationwide.
Televisa partnered with Spanish telecom firm Telefonica and Mexican cabler Megacable in a bid to operate across two government-owned dark fiber networks that stretch more than 12,000 miles across the nation. The three companies paid $69 million for a 20-year concession and they plan to invest an additional $102 million in upgrades.
The Mexican government says the concession will boost competition in a telecom market dominated by Telmex, the telephone carrier and internet provider owned by Carlos Slim, the world's richest man.
However, it also puts Televisa in a position to assert its dominance in the pay TV sector by enabling the company to increase its offerings of bundled internet, telephone and television services. Between satcaster Sky Mexico and Televisa-owned cable outfits Cablevision, Cablemas and TVI, Televisa controls an estimated 70% of the pay TV market in Mexico.
The Televisa consortium was the sole bidder for the network, as the joint bid ultimately served to eliminate potential competitors.