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Mexico TV Network to Share Resources

July 20, 1998|From Associated Press

Mexico's largest television network is scheduled to inaugurate today a shared news-programming format with correspondents from other media outlets in 18 Latin American countries.

Grupo Televisa said the plan to share more resources with Latin American broadcasters is part of an effort to extend its reach into Spanish-language television households and cut costs.

As a first step, the Mexican media giant said its 24-hour news channel, Eco, will begin today to rely on a network of hundreds of reporters, most of whom work for local stations in their home countries.

In return, the local stations will be allowed to air Eco reports to bolster international coverage.

The news-sharing arrangement could be extended to include entertainment programming and shared equipment purchases. Televisa labeled the effort "Alianza Latinoamericana" late last week at a two-day meeting of media executives from the 18 countries.

The plan is aimed at reducing Eco's $32-million annual budget to about $24 million.

Televisa's drive to share programming and equipment marks a sharp contrast to its archrival in Mexico, TV Azteca, which has embarked on a strategy of buying stakes in Spanish-language television broadcasters.

Televisa executives said they had no plans to buy stakes in Latin American stations, an approach they said risks resentment from local owners and management and might lead to mistakes from lack of knowledge about certain markets.

"Why would we want to go somewhere and buy someone out?" said Miguel Aleman Magnani, Televisa's executive vice president. "That's not how we operate. One must form associations."

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