Mexican Senate Okays Law Aiding TV Duopoly

04 April 2006

    MEXICO CITY - According to critics here, the nation's two largest TV broadcasters - Grupo Televisa and TV Azteca - have scant need of help from their political friends.
    But President Vincente Fox and his administration are determined to be compadres bueno to a duopoly that controls 99% of Mexico's TV-ad market.
    Ironically labeled the Televisa Law following the number one network's vociferous lobbying, the new legal framework sets rules for Mexican telecommunications in the digital age.
    Although it requires companies to bid for spectrum in a public auction, critics say the law will give the TV duopoly new spectrum for HDTV broadcasts free of charge, while rivals are forced to bid.
    Critics point to the creative legal terminology which decrees that the government "may" (as opposed to "shall" or "will") charge incumbents a fee for the spectrum.
   Few expect the Fox regime to ask either of the politically co-operative media titans to unzip their wallets.