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Mexican gov't to make $10 bn off digital TV
[September 05, 2010]

Mexican gov't to make $10 bn off digital TV


(EFE Ingles Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Mexico City, Sep 5 (EFE).- The Mexican government will make $10 billion off the auction of digital television rights, Federal Telecommunications Commission chairman Mony de Swaan said.

The government plans to use $1.6 billion of that money to provide the country's 23 million households with decoders, with the subsidies to be approved by Congress, the official said in an interview published in the El Universal newspaper.



President Felipe Calderon announced the end of analog television broadcasts last week, but the process will be gradual.

The northern border region will switch to digital broadcasts in October 2011, with the new broadcast technology being rolled out in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey the next year.


Digital broadcasts will be expanded to the entire country in 2015, the president said.

The Federal Telecommunications Commission plans to launch an information campaign to make Mexicans aware of the coming changes, De Swaan said, adding that the television networks were all notified ahead of Calderon's announcement.

"We have followed a very clear and transparent policy with the television broadcasters," De Swaan said.

The broadcasters' main concern is ensuring availability of the digital service, especially in the poorest areas.

The technology gap is wide in Mexico, which has an Internet penetration rate of only about 32.5 percent.

Broadcast television is dominated by Televisa and TV Azteca, but cable television has been gaining market share in recent years. EFE jrp/hv (c) 2010 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.

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