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Mexico City, Mexico
Branding Canal 28
Slogan Noticias que dicen más
(News that tell more)
Channels Digital: 27 (UHF)
Subchannels 27.1 Main programming / Excelsior TV (since October 26, 2015)
27.2 Imagen Radio (since November 25, 2015)
Affiliations Excelsior TV
Owner Grupo Empresarial Ángeles
(Compañía Internacional de Radio y Televisión, S.A.)
First air date November 1999
Call letters' meaning Former: XH Raúl Aréchiga Espinosa
Current: XH CadenaTRES
Former callsigns XHTC-TV, XHRAE-TV
Former channel number(s) 16 (unbuilt)
28 (analog, 1999-2015)
Former affiliations cadenatres (2006-2015)
Transmitter power 71.4 kW
Website www.cadenatres.com.mx

XHTRES-TDT is a full-power television station in Mexico City, Mexico, broadcasting in digital on UHF channel 27. From 2006 to 2015, it was the flagship station of the now defunct network cadenatres. It is licensed to Compañía Internacional de Radio y Televisión, S.A. (CIRT), which is owned by Grupo Empresarial Ángeles (GEA), a company headed by Olegario Vázquez Raña and directed by Olegario Vázquez Aldir, through its Grupo Imagen communications unit.

The current programming of XHTRES, as of October 26, 2015, is the Excélsior TV news network.


An unbuilt station[edit]

On November 21, 1964, the office of the Secretary of Communications and Transportation (SCT) granted a 25-year concession to CIRT (unrelated to CIRT, the Mexican broadcasters' association) and to its controlling shareholder, Roberto Nájera Martínez, for a television station UHF channel 16, to be designated XHTC-TV.[1] As of July 1989, the station had not been built, mainly due to lack of funds, and Nájera transferred his shares to Raúl Aréchiga Espinoza, with the intent that Aréchiga would “manage the bond and/or funding for the installation and operation of the channel.”[1][2] Aréchiga, from Baja California Sur, had interests in radio and a concession to operate a cable TV system in Baja California Sur, and was also owner of the airline Aero California; from 1994 to 1996, he would become director of the Cámara Nacional de la Industria de Radio y Televisión (CIRT), Mexico's association of broadcasters. Although the station was still not on air, in 1989, the SCT granted a ten-year endorsement at the end of the initial concession period. With this renewal of the concession, the station was moved from channel 16 to 28 due to a reallocation of television spectrum; it also took on the callsign XHRAE-TV, giving it his initials.

XHRAE on the air: the legal battle begins[edit]

The endorsement was scheduled to expire on November 21, 1999, and as the date approached, the station had not yet begun transmitting. Needing to go on the air to avoid having the concession reclaimed, Aréchiga hastily put together a schedule of music videos and put XHRAE on the air in November 1999, sparking a five-year controversy.[3] Roberto Nájera Martínez, who had transferred his shares ten years earlier, claimed that he had merely rented the award of the concession to Aréchiga.[1] Nájera insisted that he was the rightful owner of the station and accused Aréchiga of plundering it.[2] Further adding to the station’s troubles, Carlos Ruiz Sacristán, the head of the SCT, claimed that Aréchiga failed to live up to the terms of the original concession, refused to endorse a renewal, and instead, sought to revoke the concession. Aréchiga sued, and in a September 2002, letter to Mexican president Vicente Fox, accused current and former members of the SCT of plundering the station.[2] Meanwhile, the SCT became embroiled in a conflict between TV Azteca and CNI involving XHTVM-TV channel 40, and had considered plans to reclaim and reassign channel 28 to help settle the dispute.[4] Bidders began to size up both channels 28 and 40, such as General Electric Mexico.[5]

Finally, in January 2005, a judge ruled that Aréchiga did not violate the terms of the concession, and ordered the SCT to endorse the renewal immediately.[3] The endorsement was granted on April 26, 2005, retroactive to November 22, 1999, but only lasting through May 22, 2006.[1][6] Even before the endorsement had been granted, rumors began to flow that Aréchiga’s victory was intentional, in order to clear the station for sale, either to Ricardo Salinas Pliego, owner of TV Azteca, who had lost control of channel 40 in the dispute with CNI, or to Olegario Vazquez Raña, a newcomer to the broadcast industry but an associate of Marta Sahagún de Fox, wife of President Vicente Fox.[1][7] Aréchiga, however, showed a determination to operate the station himself. In December 2005, the station relaunched with a new logo and slogan, “Canal para todos”, or “Channel for all”. In early 2006, XHRAE-TV inked deals with the Lumiere cinema chain to provide old Mexican movies, and with Productora y Comercializadora de Televisión, SA de CV (PCTV), to provide other programming, which began airing in April.[8]

The Cadena Tres era[edit]

Things quickly deteriorated for Aréchiga, beginning in April 2006. On April 2, the SCT, who oversees both communications and transportation in Mexico, declared Aréchiga’s airline, Aero California, unfit to fly and grounded the entire fleet of airplanes.[9] With his time, money and attention fully devoted to saving Aero California, and with the concession of XHRAE-TV coming up for renewal at the end of May 2006, Aréchiga could not run both enterprises and was forced to seek a buyer for the television station.[10] Some considered the grounding of Aero California as a reprisal for Aréchiga's victory in retaining the channel 28 concession.[11]

The concession for XHRAE-TV was renewed on May 9, 2006 for fifteen years, eliminating a major barrier to the sale of the station.[12] General Electric also attempted to buy the station and provide Aréchiga financing for the airline.[13] A purchase agreement was reached on July 13 and announced on July 18. Administradora Arcángel, S.A. de C.V., part of Grupo Empresarial Ángeles, became the new owners of channel 28. The purchase was approved by Cofeco on August 24, but at the same time, GEA was fined $221,108 pesos for late notification of the purchase.[14] Originally, the purchase price was thought to be $80 million, but turned out to actually be $126 million.[7]

On May 28, 2007, GEA relaunched XHRAE-TV under the name Cadena Tres (lit. Network Three), creating new programs and newscasts with a general audience focus. The station’s coverage expanded from Mexico City to the entire Mexican republic through various cable television systems and some affiliate local channels.

By September 30, 2009, the station had changed its call sign to XHTRES-TV, reflecting its network identity.[12]

Cadena Tres aimed to become the third major private network in Mexico (hence the name), but struggled to stay alive and expand, allegedly because of the so-called "duopoly" of Televisa and TV Azteca and laws that prevented the network to easily expand (namely, the Federal Telecommunications Act better known as the Televisa Law). Their dream of a nationwide network finally materialized thanks to the new Federal Telecommunications Act of 2013 that ordered the creation of two nationwide independent television networks, one of which was granted to Cadena Tres I, S.A. de C.V., on March 11, 2015. XHTRES was to become the flagship station of the new network. However, in a move that took audiences by storm, Grupo Imagen decided to take CadenaTres off the air on October 26, 2015, and replace it with Excélsior TV, effective Monday, October 26.[15] According to a message that replaced the front page of the now defunct network website, the decision was taken in order to put all the efforts of Grupo Imagen into the new network to be launched in early 2016. The new network, Imagen Televisión, will launch on October 17.[16]

Excélsior TV[edit]

This channel was originally launched on September 2, 2013 as an offshoot of the Grupo Imagen-owned newspaper Excélsior. It is mainly a 24-hour news channel, focusing mostly on national news. It also features other programs ranging from political debate to show business. After it replaced the signal of CadenaTres, it also broadcast paid programming (infomercials and TV ministries).

On December 17, 2015, XHTRES and other television stations in Mexico City shut off their analog signals.

From its launch, it was available on XHTRES subchannel 27.2 and on some of CadenaTres's affiliates.

Imagen Radio[edit]

Signal broadcasting on the subchannel 27.3. It is a simulcast of the radio programming from XEDA-FM 90.5 Imagen Radio showing an static station card with the Imagen Radio logo and web address. Some programs have video directly from the radio studios that replace the station card (except during commercial breaks on these programs). Mainly a news station, it also has music programming.

Beginning November 25, 2015, the subchannel 27.3 went off the air and Imagen Radio took over 27.2, ending the redundant broadcast of Excélsior Televisión in 27.1 and 27.2.


  • 2005-2007: Canal para todos. (Channel for all)
  • 2007-2008: Cadena Tres, La Televisión Abierta. (Cadena Tres, Open Television)
  • 2008-2009: Encadenate a Cadena Tres. (Connect to Cadena Tres)
  • 2009-2010: Somos Cadena Tres y estamos en el 28 (We are Cadena Tres and we are on 28)
  • 2010–2015: La Televisión más abierta que nunca (Television more open than ever)
  • 2015–present: Noticias que dicen mas (News that tell more)


  1. ^ a b c d e Luis Miguel Carriedo (September 2005). "El 28, canal de enigmas". Periódico Zócalo. Retrieved 2008-10-23.  Google translation (EN)
  2. ^ a b c Sosa Plata, Gabriel (2008-06-24). "Cadena 3: revelaciones a dos años". Etcétera magazine. Archived from the original on 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2008-08-22.  Google translation (EN)
  3. ^ a b Fernando Mejía Barquera (2005-01-29). "Canal 28 en 2005". Medios México. Retrieved 2008-08-10.  Google translation (EN)
  4. ^ Denise Maerker (2004-01-29). "Canal 40. La solución del gobierno". Etcétera magazine. Archived from the original on October 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-03.  Google translation (EN) Internet Archive copy
  5. ^ Verónica Gascón (2005-08-01). "Interesan a GE canales 40 y 28". Reforma. 
  6. ^ Arturo Zárate (2006-02-20). "Otra alternativa en tv para proselitismo". El Universal. Retrieved 2008-10-23.  Google translation (EN)
  7. ^ a b Raúl Trejo Delarbre (August 2008). "Intolerancia en el Grupo Imagen". Mediocracia. Retrieved 2008-10-24.  Google translation (EN)
  8. ^ Alejandro Olmos (August 2006). "Con el beneplácito de Fox, nace otro magnate de los medios: Olegario Vázquez". Periódico Zócalo. Retrieved 2008-10-24. [dead link] Google translation (EN)
  9. ^ Enrique Galván Ochoa (2007-06-15). "Dinero". La Jornada. Retrieved 2008-10-24.  Google translation (EN)
  10. ^ "Grupo Imagen compra el Canal 28 del Valle de México". Olganza. 2006-07-18. Archived from the original on July 19, 2006. Retrieved 2008-10-24.  Google translation (EN)
  11. ^ Claudia González (2006-06-13). "Defiende AMLO a Aerocalifornia". Reforma. 
  12. ^ a b Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones. Infraestructura de Estaciones de TV. Last modified 2016-03-31. Retrieved 2014-07-01.
  13. ^ Darío Celis Estrada (2003-07-13). "Ofrece GE a Aréchiga financiamiento por Canal 28". Reforma. 
  14. ^ "Resolutions". Comisión Federal de Competencia. 2006-08-24. Retrieved 2008-08-01. [dead link]
  15. ^ Tweet from @excelsior: "#ExcélsiorTV informa que a partir del lunes, transmitirá a través del canal 28 de tv abierta y 27.1 de tv digital."
  16. ^ http://www.excelsior.com.mx/opinion/yuriria-sierra/2015/10/23/1052880

External links[edit]