TV Azteca, a popular network broadcaster and owned by Mexico’s Grupo Salinas, has been removed from most of the country’s cable operators. As at 2011 it was the nation’s second-most important broadcaster.
However, Grupo Salinas wants to charge cable operators for its content. There is no ‘must carry’ obligation in Mexico. Azteca has lost around 4m subscribing homes because of this dispute.
Currently, Cablecom, Cablemás, Megacable and Cablevisión Monterrey have all dropped Azteca’s channels. On its web page, Cablecom informed its subscribers that “TV Azteca’s channels have been removed from air because the programmer is trying to charge for its channel broadcasting thus seriously damaging our subscribers’ economies….We hope TV Azteca reconsiders its position so as to reincorporate its channels in our programming”.
TV Azteca responded by saying that effective Feb 15 that some cable companies had decided not to pay for Azteca’s channels, and advising viewers that some cable companies are asking viewers to pay a “symbolic price” for a new antenna and electronic switch in order to continue receiving free-to-air transmissions.