Viacom Boss Lured by Mexican Charms

01 April 2004

South of the Border, Down Mexico Way … is where Viacom chairman/ceo Sumner M Redstone seeks his next conquest.

But it is the allure of that nation's pesos, ready for scooping, rather than its beautiful senoritas that lured the 80-year-old media tycoon across the border.

Young audiences and underserved markets are the Latino charms that turn Redstone's head, and he makes no secret of his ardor to broaden Viacom's presence in Mexico.

Today (Thursday) Viacom launches VH1 Latinoamerica, a cable music channel targeting a 25- to 49-year-old audience, with Mexico as anchor market. "If we have five priorities for overseas expansion by MTV and for Viacom, Mexico is one of them," Redstone told a group of foreign reporters in Mexico City.

But like all self-respecting Latin lovers, Redstone's desire is not easily satisfied. "The exposure we are getting in Mexico is not enough," he said. "We are in the right place, but not on all the platforms we should be."

"On cable in this country you only reach a very small part of the population; what we would like to do as we grow is to reach the majority of the people in Mexico," he purred lustily.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff