Mexico’s Televisa ready for May spectrum auction

* Televisa, partner Nextel eye spectrum auction

* Auction due to start May 25

* SKY unit may add 1 mln subscribers from new offer

By Cyntia Barrera Diaz

MEXICO CITY, April 30 (BestGrowthStock) – Mexico’s top broadcaster
Televisa said on Friday it is ready for a government auction,
expected in late May, when it will bid with partner Nextel for
mobile phone capacity to grow its service offer.

Grupo Televisa (TV.N: ) (TLVACPO.MX: ), the world’s biggest
producer of Spanish-language content, has expanded outside its
core broadcast television business in recent years, adding
cable and fixed-line phone services to attract more clients and
boost revenue.

The company said in February it was buying a minority stake
in Nextel Mexico, a unit of NII Holdings (NIHD.O: ), as long as
their joint bid for new wireless capacity succeeded. Televisa
would pay $1.44 billion for a 30 percent stake in Nextel
Mexico.

“The spectrum auction is scheduled to start on May 25th,”
said Televisa’s Executive Vice President Alfonso de Angoitia
during a conference call with analysts on Friday. “In the
meantime, we continue working with Nextel to define our
strategy and jointly approach the market.”

Televisa wants to tap the wireless market, which is
dominated by tycoon Carlos Slim’s America Movil (AMXL.MX: )
(AMX.N: ).

Mexico’s government is auctioning spectrum in the 1.7 GHz
and 1.9 GHz bands to propel competition in the cellphone
market. Additionally, it is selling two strands of unused fiber
optic for data transmission.

Televisa teamed last month with Spain’s Telefonica (TEF.MC: )
and cable television company Megacable (MEGACPO.MX: ) to jointly
bid for fiber optic too.

De Angoitia also said Televisa will strengthen efforts at
its satellite television unit SKY, which ended March with 2.2
million customers. Televisa’s pay television services have
greatly contributed to overall sales growth in the past year.

SKY recently lowered prices on its entry package to fend
off rival Dish Mexico, which debuted in 2008 with a very low
and attractive offer that quickly gained it a million-plus
subscriber base.

Angoitia said its recently-launched low-priced SKY offer
could add another million subscribers this year. The upcoming
soccer World Cup, which SKY has exclusive rights for 24
matches, will boost the unit’s results too.

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(Reporting by Cyntia Barrera Diaz; editing by Gunna Dickson)

Mexico’s Televisa ready for May spectrum auction