Azteca (multimedia company)

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Azteca S.A. de C.V.
Traded as BMV: AZTECA
Headquarters Mexico City
Key people Mario San Román, (CEO)
Revenue Increase US$ 965.3 million (2012)
Net income Increase US$ 177.1 million (2012)
Employees 5,655
Parent Grupo Salinas
Website www.tvazteca.com/

Azteca (BMV: AZTECA), previously TV Azteca, is a Mexican multimedia conglomerate owned by Grupo Salinas. It is the second largest mass media company in Mexico after Televisa.[1][2] As of 2011, it competes in Mexico with Televisa. It owns two television networks, Azteca 7 and Azteca Trece, and operates a third, Proyecto 40. All three of these networks have repeaters and affiliates in most major and minor cities.

History[edit]

TV Azteca former logo (1994-2011).

Azteca was founded on July 18, 1993,[citation needed] when two of the three networks and all of the repeater stations owned by Instituto Mexicano de la Televisión were auctioned off by the Mexican government. Imevisión also owned channel 22, which was transferred Conaculta. On July 18, 1993, Mexico's Finance Ministry, Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público (SHCP) announced that Radiotelevisora del Centro, a group controlled by Ricardo Salinas Pliego, was the winner of the auction process to acquire the "state-owned media package". The winning bid amounted to US$645 million.

On March 7, 2011, TV Azteca changed its name to Azteca, reflecting its growth into a multimedia company.[3]

TV Azteca also operates Azteca 13 Internacional, reaching 13 countries in Central and South America, and part of the Azteca América network in the United States. Its flagship program is the newscast Hechos.

Acting school[edit]

The network has set up an acting school, Centro de Estudios y Formación Actoral (CEFAC). Alumni include Iliana Fox, Luis Ernesto Franco, Adriana Louvier, Fran Meric, Bárbara Mori, Laura Palma and Adrián Rubio.

Controversies[edit]

Financial improprieties allegations[edit]

On 5 January 2005, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accused TV Azteca executives (including chairman Ricardo Salinas Pliego) of having personally profited from a multi-million-dollar debt fraud committed by TV Azteca and another company in which they held stock.[4] The charges were among the first brought under the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002,[4] introduced in the wake of the corporate financial scandals of that year.

Channel 40[edit]

In 1998, TV Azteca announced an investment of US$25 million in XHTVM-TV, which was owned by Javier Moreno Valle through the concession company Televisora del Valle de México S.A. Under the deal, Azteca restructured TVM and took control of ad sales and most programming duties while Moreno Valle's CNI news service retained some prime time space. However, in 2000, Moreno Valle broke the contract with Azteca, alleging Azteca of filling up time allotted to CNI and not fulfilling the obligations in the contract. In late 2002, Azteca used private security guards to retake control of the XHTVM facilities on Cerro del Chiquihuite in Mexico City. However, the Mexican government stepped into the dispute and forced Azteca to relinquish control of XHTVM. In 2005, an employee strike that crippled CNI, Moreno Valle's mounting legal troubles, and a deal with the 5% owner of the concession company allowed Azteca to buy the remainder of the station and retake control of XHTVM, under the name Proyecto 40, in 2006.

Federal Radio and Television Law[edit]

The Federal Radio and Television Law (known as the Ley Televisa) was a bill concerning the licensing and regulation of the electromagnetic spectrum. The LFRT was favorable to both TV Azteca and Televisa (who together control 95 percent of all television frequencies) because it allowed them to renew their licenses without paying for them. According to The Economist, the Ley Federal de Radio y Televisión "raced through Congress confirming the country's longstanding television duopoly" and constituted a "giveaway of radio spectrum and a provision that allows broadcasting licenses to be renewed more or less automatically".[5]

Carriage disputes[edit]

In February 2012, TV Azteca networks (Azteca 7, Azteca 13, and Proyecto 40) were dropped by Mexican cable-TV carriers representing more than 4 million subscribers in a carriage dispute over terms. Cable operators claimed that Azteca wanted to charge a fee by packaging its over-the-air stations with cable networks, such as news and soap opera channels, which potentially represented a higher cost to subscribers.[6] After a nine-month absence, TV Azteca returned gradually to cable operators.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]