Mexico's Televisa Posts Robust Earnings

The Spanish-language media powerhouse has positioned itself to conquer U.S. Hispanic market.

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican media group Televisa saw quarterly net income nearly double on strong growth from its broadcast and pay TV units.

The nation's top network reported a first-quarter net profit of 1.5 billion pesos (about $118 million), up from 780 million pesos a year ago. Net sales rose 15 percent to 15.2 billion pesos, driven by solid ad sales from its over-the-air channels. Televisa controls an estimated 70 percent of the broadcast TV market here.

The Mexican media giant's pay TV and telecom division also came up big, thanks to increases in subscriber bases at satcaster Sky and Televisa's three cable TV outfits.

As one of the world's leading producers of Spanish-language content, Televisa has boosted its presence in the U.S. Latino market in recent years. In addition to an existing program license agreement with its stateside partner Univision, Televisa announced in January that it had formed a programming and development partnership with Lionsgate, which includes plans to create English-language content.

The pact came two years after Lionsgate joined forces with Televisa to create Pantelion, the U.S. theatrical distributor behind the Will Ferrell vehicle Casa de mi Padre. Pantelion acquires and produces feature films targeting Latino audiences.