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Businessmen, Partisans and Oligarchs: Political Control, News Production Philosophies And Partisan Bias In Mexican Television News
Unformatted Document Text:  6 capital city stations. 9 Only an estimated 15 percent of 465 stations in the country are owned by independent proprietors. The Televisa network owns about 60 percent of the 465 commercial stations in the country; younger Televisión Azteca owns about 25 percent and independent proprietors control about 15 percent. In all, Televisa controls about 80 percent of its local affiliates, while Televisión Azteca controls more than 95 percent. 10 Market share is likewise concentrated. Televisa controls about 70 percent of the national TV market and Televisión Azteca about 25 percent. The remainder is split between state-run educational/cultural channels based in universities and some new small regional chains. These include a Mexico City-based station called CNI, now affiliated with Televisión Azteca; Chihuahua-based Grupo Intermedia, founded in 1979; Multimedios Estrellas de Oro in Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas; and Tele-Emisoras/Comunicación del Sureste in Tabasco and Chiapas. Coverage of news is more balanced between Televisa and Televisión Azteca, but local broadcasters are limited to an equally marginal share. 11 Currently, lawmakers refer to the structure as a “duopoly” (Corral 2001, 2002). Through the early 1990s, broadcasters had little incentive to depart from pro-government coverage. For decades, Televisa received special privileges from the government (tax benefits, subsidized access to communications infrastructure and satellites, etc.) and protection from serious commercial competition. 12 At the provincial level, private concessionaires were either 9 Adrian Angel Muñoz, director of research, National Radio and Television Chamber, interview, Mexico, D.F., 18 March 2002. This is an estimate for private stations affiliated with the chamber. 10 Ibid. 11 Luis Arnoldo Cabada Alvídrez, CEO Channel 66, interview, Mexicali, Baja California, April 2002; Medios Publicitarios, Directorio, December 2001; Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes, on-line list of concessionaires, www. sct.gob.mx, accessed March 2002; Will Weissert, "Miami-Based Businessman Controls Big Chunk of Latin American Airwaves, Looks to Extend Reach," Associated Press, 5 June 2002. 12 Raul Trejo Delarbre, ed., Las redes de Televisa (Mexico City: Claves Latinoamericanas, 1988; Raul Trejo Delarbre, Televisa, el quinto poder (Mexico City: Claves Latinoamericanas, 1985); Fernando Mejía Barquera, La industria de la radio y la televisión y la política del Estado mexicano, (Mexico City: Fundación Manuel Buendía, 1989); Claudia Fernández and Andrew Paxman, El Tigre. Emilio Azcárraga y su imperio Televisa (Mexico, D.F.:

Authors: Hughes, Sallie. and Lawson, Chappell.
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6
capital city stations.
9
Only an estimated 15 percent of 465 stations in the country are owned by
independent proprietors. The Televisa network owns about 60 percent of the 465 commercial
stations in the country; younger Televisión Azteca owns about 25 percent and independent
proprietors control about 15 percent. In all, Televisa controls about 80 percent of its local
affiliates, while Televisión Azteca controls more than 95 percent.
10
Market share is likewise concentrated. Televisa controls about 70 percent of the national
TV market and Televisión Azteca about 25 percent. The remainder is split between state-run
educational/cultural channels based in universities and some new small regional chains. These
include a Mexico City-based station called CNI, now affiliated with Televisión Azteca;
Chihuahua-based Grupo Intermedia, founded in 1979; Multimedios Estrellas de Oro in Nuevo
Leon and Tamaulipas; and Tele-Emisoras/Comunicación del Sureste in Tabasco and Chiapas.
Coverage of news is more balanced between Televisa and Televisión Azteca, but local
broadcasters are limited to an equally marginal share.
11
Currently, lawmakers refer to the
structure as a “duopoly” (Corral 2001, 2002).
Through the early 1990s, broadcasters had little incentive to depart from pro-government
coverage. For decades, Televisa received special privileges from the government (tax benefits,
subsidized access to communications infrastructure and satellites, etc.) and protection from
serious commercial competition.
12
At the provincial level, private concessionaires were either
9
Adrian Angel Muñoz, director of research, National Radio and Television Chamber, interview, Mexico, D.F., 18
March 2002. This is an estimate for private stations affiliated with the chamber.
10
Ibid.
11
Luis Arnoldo Cabada Alvídrez, CEO Channel 66, interview, Mexicali, Baja California, April 2002; Medios
Publicitarios, Directorio, December 2001; Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes, on-line list of
concessionaires, www. sct.gob.mx, accessed March 2002; Will Weissert, "Miami-Based Businessman Controls Big
Chunk of Latin American Airwaves, Looks to Extend Reach," Associated Press, 5 June 2002.
12
Raul Trejo Delarbre, ed., Las redes de Televisa (Mexico City: Claves Latinoamericanas, 1988; Raul Trejo
Delarbre, Televisa, el quinto poder (Mexico City: Claves Latinoamericanas, 1985); Fernando Mejía Barquera, La
industria de la radio y la televisión y la política del Estado mexicano
, (Mexico City: Fundación Manuel Buendía,
1989); Claudia Fernández and Andrew Paxman, El Tigre. Emilio Azcárraga y su imperio Televisa (Mexico, D.F.:


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