Grupo Televisa, S.A.B. is a Mexican multimedia mass media company and the largest in Latin America and the Spanish-speaking world. It is a major international entertainment business, with much of its programming airing in the United States on Univision, with which it has an exclusive contract.
HistorySince its beginning, the company has been owned by the Azcárraga family. The company has been led and owned by three generations of Azcárraga; each has marked an era for the company and, until October 2017, each had passed the ownership of the company to his son upon his death.
Emilio Azcárraga Vidaurreta (1955–1972)Grupo Televisa was founded in 1955 as Telesistema Mexicano, linking Mexico's first three television stations: XHTV-TV, XEW-TV and XHGC-TV. Along with Emilio Azcárraga Vidaurreta, the O'Farril family and Ernesto Barrientos Reyes, who had signed on Mexico's first radio station, XEW-AM, in 1930, were co-owners of the firm. Its headquarters, known as Televicentro, were originally located on Avenida Chapultepec in downtown Mexico City. The building opened on 10 February 1952.
The channel was the first national network to be broadcast in color in 1963. Before the launch, Telesistema began airing in color in the late 1950s in select cities along the U.S.-Mexico border, given the fact that color signals were already present since the start of US color television in the decade starting from 1954.
In 1968, Telesistema's main competitor, Televisión Independiente de México, entered Mexico City with XHTM-TV Canal 8. At the time, both Telesistema and TIM competed with another new station, XHDF-TV channel 13, which also started transmissions in 1968. Over the next four years, both networks competed in content and image until they merged, taking on the name "Televisa" in 1973. In the merger deal, the owners of Telesistema had 75 percent of the stocks, while the owners of Televisión Independiente had the rest, which were sold to Telesistema later because of financial problems.
On 7 September 1970, 24 Horas debuted and became one of Mexico's most-watched news programs. The host, journalist Jacobo Zabludovsky, anchored the newscast for almost three decades.
The 1973 merger brought in another new face who would later help revolutionize television and pop music: Raúl Velasco and his Sunday program Siempre en Domingo, which was, from the start, being aired on Telesistema. Its successful run of 29 seasons not only featured the best pop artists from Spain and Latin America as well as from English-speaking countries, but also the most successful local singers, and its broadcast into many countries in both North and South America helped promote Latin pop to millions of television viewers.
Emilio Azcárraga Milmo (1972–1997)On 17 August 1972, Emilio Azcárraga Vidaurreta died, and Emilio Azcárraga Milmo succeeded him as company president and owner. On 8 January 1973, both Telesistema Mexicano and Televisión Independiente de México merged, taking on the name Televisa, an acronym for Televisión Via Satélite in Spanish. In 1975, brothers Emilio Diez Barroso and Fernando Diez Barroso began working in the presidency offices of Televisa.
Televisa started to transmit several programs produced by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in 1977. On 3 March 1983, Canal 8 was reformatted to become a cultural channel, offering informative programs, debates and cultural shows. In 1985, a frequency swap moved the station from channel 8 to 9, and Televisa also decided to swap its callsign for that of XEQ-TV, which had been on channel 9 and broadcast from Altzomoni; the XHTM callsign was moved to that station, which was moved to channel 10. Canal 9 eventually became Galavisión, now known as Gala TV.
On 19 September 1985, an earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale caused widespread damage in Mexico City and destroyed the south tower of Televisa's main building. Nonetheless, Televisa's transmissions were not seriously affected. However, several dubbed TV shows were lost.
In 1991, Televisa, with help from Japanese public television network NHK, began its first broadcast in HDTV, using the Japanese MUSE system. Between 1993 and 1994 Televisa was about to buy Italian local TV station GBR, based in Rome, planning to import in Italy his mixed sport-telenovelas formula, but the transaction was ultimately aborted.
Emilio Azcárraga Jean (1997–2017)In April 1997, Milmo died and Emilio Azcárraga Jean succeeded him as the president of the company. Azcárraga Jean was 29 years old and he was one of the youngest executives in Mexico at that time. In December 1997, Televisa joined with other Mexican media companies to create a marathon known as Teletón, whose mission is to provide knowledge about physical disabilities, giving a strong message about respect, equality and support to people in these conditions. This movement from media, enterprises and Mexicans is reflected in the buildings created with the money from this Marathon, named Centros de Rehabilitación Infantil. It is said that sponsors use it as a way to deduce taxes as the Teletón takes place at the end of the fiscal year and therefore allows companies to deduce their donations before declaring their incomes. Televisa introduced a new logo on January 1, 2001. Changes include the sun now being a 3D ball, which in turn making the logo an eye, and the wordmark was brought back and in Helvetica Black.
at the charity auction "Arte en Barricas" sponsored by Tequila Herradura in Mexico City
Televisa is the largest mass media company in Latin America, and it is owned by the Azcárraga family. Televisa controls 66% of the 465 television concessions. Also Televisa owns television programing and broadcasting, programing pay television, publishing distribution, cable television, radio production and broadcasting, football teams, stadiums, Televisa editorial, paging services, professional sports and business promotion, film production and distribution, dubbing, operation of horizontal internet portal, DVD distribution, EMI Televisa music, Playcity casino, etc. Televisa is capable of creating, destroying or changing what audience believe or think about something or someone due to the high influence that it has over the society. In México, 6 of every 10 Mexicans get informed of what is happening in the country via television, very few people read newspapers, and the access to Internet and the programing pay television are limited to the middle and high classes. This is the reason of why Televisa has a great influence over the decisions in the Union Congress and over the politicians in México. Televisa determines who becomes a hero, and who the villain.
There is complicity between Mexican media and government. Media and political power in México have a symbiotic relationship where the economic elites that control the media are privileged in exchange for their support for the policies and actions of the government. In México the mass media owners are likely to have access to high levels of the Mexican government. On 3 May 2006 the community of San Salvador Atenco was violently repressed by the Mexican police who used excessive force, and committed severe human rights violations. This event was one of the most violent repressions in the nation's history. This event is important because it shows how Televisa and TV Azteca were involved in inciting and supporting the repression of the people of Atenco by the government in México. The approval of the repression of Atenco by TV Azteca and Televisa can be seen as a clear example of the collaboration between mass media and government. Televisa and TV Azteca through their news programs support government policies without criticism, and dismiss alternative voices to the dominant discourse. When this event occurred, mass media portrayed the farmers of Atenco as a radical social movement without reporting the reason behind the mobilization. In México the mass media are not there to provide objective information, México is under the shadow of authoritative journalism, in which they are only there to endorse an agenda that is aligned with the government.
In August 2014, Televisa announced it would acquire the remaining shares in Mexican cable firm Cablecom that it did not already own for a fee of around $653.96 million. In September 2014, it was announced that Grupo Salinas would acquire Grupo Televisa's 50 percent stake in Mexico's third largest wireless operator Iusacell for a fee of $717 million. In January 2016, Televise introduced a new branding, including a new logo design: an updated version of the company's logo from 1973, and a new slogan "Tu companía,tu más".
Post-Azcarraga family leadership (2017–present)Emilio Azcárraga Jean renounced the leadership of Televisa in October 2017, although he remains chairman of the company's board of directors. The new appointed leader of the company will be the first not to be part of the Azcarraga family. The move was made to combat the massive decline in Televisa's viewership created by the rise in popularity of Netflix and other video streaming services, becoming more popular than cable television, as well as the end of the duopoly of private channels caused by the arrival of new players in the 2010s.
Properties and services
Properties or partial propertiesTelevisa is the second-largest media conglomerate in Latin America behind Grupo Globo, with interests in television broadcasting, programming for pay television, international distribution of television programming, direct-to-home satellite services, publishing and publishing distribution, cable television, radio production and broadcasting, professional sports and show business promotions, paging services, feature film production and distribution, dubbing, and the operation of a horizontal Internet portal. Televisa's telenovelas generally run only one season and are broadcast internationally. The conglomerate has partially to complete interest in the following companies:
Film and television industry
- * Videocine
- *Globalgate Entertainment
- Television Channels
- * Televisa Networks
- *Home Media distribution
- ** Televisa Home Entertainment
- *Cable providers
- ** Izzi Telecom is the internet, fixed telephony and cable TV provider of Grupo Televisa. The company is made of several formerly separate companies combined to provide competition against Telmex.
Publishing (books, magazines and newspapers)
- Editorial Televisa
- *Rolling Stone Mexico
- *Muy Interesante
- Televisa Radio, under the brand name of "W Radio México"; it is primarily a news and talk station.
- Comercio Más
- Televisa Digital
- Televisa Chapultepec
- Televisa San Ángel
- Televisa Santa Fe
- Televisa Guadalajara
- Televisa Monterrey
- Televisa Puebla
- Televisa Licencias
- Más Fondos
- Playcity Casino
Terrestrial networksTelevisa provides programming throughout Mexico through four networks through local affiliates. 253 Mexican local television stations air programming from all four terrestrial networks.
The four Televisa networks are:
|Las Estrellas||XEW 2||general programming, sports, first-run telenovelas, and news|
|Canal 5*||XHGC 5||youth-oriented programming, American series, and movies|
|Nueve||XEQ 9||telenovela reruns, sports, news, and comedy shows|
|FOROtv||XHTV 4||all news channel, talk, and debate programming|
Televisa beams Las Estrellas, Canal 5, and Nueve all over Mexico through satellite to affiliates. In addition, Televisa owns some Televisa-branded regional television stations, airing a mixture of Televisa programming and regional programming from all four Televisa terrestrial networks. FOROtv is the only network that only has one full-time affiliate, XHTV, but some of FOROtv's programming can be found on most Televisa Regional television stations.
CableTelevisa also operates a subsidiary called Televisa Networks. This subsidiary is responsible for the distribution of Televisa programmes by satellite. It is Televisa Networks that distributes the Las Estrellas signal through satellite to Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Other channels under the Televisa Networks umbrella include:
- Adrenalina Sports Network - channel focused on the UFC
- Bandamax - a Banda, Norteño and Regional Mexican music station.
- De Película - Mexican film channel focused in newest movies.
- De Película Clásico - Mexican film channel focused in old movies.
- Distrito Comedia - Focuses on Televisa produced sitcoms and comedy shows from the 1970s to present. Before 1 October 2012, it was known as Clásico TV - and focused on showing popular TV shows from the past, specially sitcoms and children shows.
- Golden and Golden Edge - movie service, showcasing Hollywood blockbusters and other films.
- Golden Premier - movie service, films premiered between 2011 and the actually
- Las Estrellas Internacional - international version of the Mexican network, available only outside Mexico.
- NHL Network - Channel focused on the National Hockey League
- Ritmoson Latino - a Spanish language music videos station focused in tropical music
- Televisa Deportes Network and Univision Deportes-Televisa Deportes Network) - Sports Channel that is often distributed in premium cable services. Shows European soccer leagues and tournaments of sports not so popular in Mexico.
- *Additionally Televisa owns a Mexican first division football-soccer team and the Stadium where it plays.
- TeleHit - a channel devoted to pop music and comedic shows that usually are not safe secure to be shown in open TV.
- Telemundo Internacional - Shows telenovelas, programs, news and more originally from Telemundo..
- BitMe - Starting broadcasts after the closure of its predecessor channel TIIN, this channel is the first of the company to bring to the public programming of the world of video games and anime, its acceptance was well received and has an agreement with Toei animation to start the distribution of some anime from his studio, just like he's buying usage licenses from anime distributor Sentai Filmworks
- TLN - Shows telenovelas and TV series in Portuguese of Televisa.
- Tlnovelas - a network devoted to classic telenovelas.
- Telenovela Channel - an English-dubbed telenovela channel in the Philippines; network owned by with the partnership of Televisa. The channel operates 24/7.
- Unicable - features programming by Univision and Originals Productions.
- Telemundo Latin America - features programming by Telemundo
- BBC Entertainment Latin America - features programming by BBC
- CBeebies Latin America - features programming by CBeebies of BBC
It operated Galavisión Europa, featuring programming by Televisa and Univision, the channel name was changed in 2006 to Canal de las Estrellas, and broadcasts to Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
Televisa launched streaming video service Blim on 22 February 2016.
Criticisms and controversies
Political bias, defamation and impartial news coverageDue to Televisa's multiple and diverse areas of business and political interests around the country, Latin America and the U.S., it has been often accused of airing misleading information about individuals or organizations in which may exist a conflict of interest. Many remember the famous phrase from the former owner of Televisa Emilio Azcarraga Milmo referring to himself as a "soldado del Partido Revolucionario Institucional ", the longtime ruling political party in Mexico that held presidency of Mexico uninterruptedly for 71 years from 1929 to 2000, however, with his death and the arrival of his son Emilio Azcarraga Jean to the head of the network, there was the promise to cut all political ties with the PRI. However, if the relationship ended or not has been widely disputed, along with their impartiality when it comes to their economical interests in diverse business areas.
Francisco Ibarra and Emilio MaurerLong before 1991, Televisa exercised strong control over the Mexican Football Federation in which they participated with the ownership of two teams. However, that year a rival group, Imevision took control over the federation with Francisco Ibarra as the acting President and Emilio Maurer as Secretary, both of whom started a series of changes concerning mainly to the administration of a poll of money earned in sponsorships of the National Soccer Team; this fight resulted in a prosecution through several TV channels owned by the network resulting in Ibarra and Maurer being expelled from the Federation, even Maurer being incarcerated. Rumours of then President of Mexico Carlos Salinas de Gortari being involved in this prosecution began to circulate, however this was never confirmed.
Issac Saba RaffoulIn 2010, Televisa began airing a series of reports in their news shows in which
they claimed that businessman Isaac Saba Raffoul held a monopoly in the field of pharmaceuticals distribution along the country with their enterprise Grupo Saba, those affirmations occurred as a consequence of the business partnership between Isaac Saba Raffoul and General Electric to become the third national television network. This partnership, in the potential case of becoming successful in acquiring rights from the Federal Government to transmit along the country, would have diminished the TV market share of Televisa and TV Azteca.
Grupo ReformaIn 2011, Televisa began airing a series of reports related to publication of classifieds on newspapers owned by Grupo Reforma of women offering sex service, often offered as massage service, escort service, etc. implying these could led to various crimes like human trafficking, sexual slavery, kidnapping of women and others. Although those classifieds are published in a wide range of newspapers around the country, Televisa specifically targeted Grupo Reforma's publications. Analysts say this was a retaliation against Grupo Reforma for their extense coverage of the affair of their star news anchor Carlos Loret de Mola, all of this, however, as a retaliation itself to the fact that Televisa obtained licenses to provide third and fourth generation wireless services in partnership with communications giant Nextel.
Carlos Slim Helu (Telmex)In 2011, Televisa began airing reports concerning an allegedly monopoly of Telmex and America Movil on national cellular phone service and claiming that customers were being overcharged; also claiming that fees to interconnect to existing cellular grid and infrastructure to third parties were excessively high. This fight occurred when both companies were trying to obtain from the Federal Government the rights to offer to customers "Triple Play" which means that one carrier could provide cellular service, television and internet in one complete package. However, this matter resulted on interminable courtroom fights between both parties and the decision has been delayed so far.
May 2012 ralliesOn 19 May 2012 a series of rallies "Marchas Anti-Peña" were held across the country. In addition to proclaiming dislike of Enrique Peña Nieto, the protest was also aimed at the news coverage of Peña Nieto, principally by the program Tercer Grado. The rally organizers claimed that Televisa was actively assisting Peña Nieto win the forecoming election and that their intense coverage of his activities as the Governor of Estado de Mexico, helped him positioning as the No. 1 in opinion polls. Rallies also occurred outside of Televisa San Angel, where some of the protesters were permitted to air their points of view on a nationwide telecast.
As of 2011, its closest competitors are TV Azteca and TVE. In 2012, he was embroiled in controversy since the progressive movement, headed by leading left into Mexico Andrés Manuel López Obrador, was openly accused of sponsoring the PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto.
Money launderingOn 23 August 2012, 18 alleged company employees were arrested in Nicaragua, accused of international drug trafficking, organized crime and money laundering; six vans that bore the logo of the media company also were seized which had professional production equipment for television transmission and registered in the name Televisa SA de CV, where drugs and $9.2 million in cash were transported. According to statements of the television itself, detainees do not belong to Televisa, and the vehicles were registered with false documents to the Ministry of Transport and Roads of the Federal District. Supposedly stationery used in these forgeries involved Amador Narcia, a reporter who disappeared from Televisa News following this scandal.
Televisa political bias in favor of Margarita Zavala controversyOn 21 November 2016 Televisa released a telenovela titled La candidata protagonized by actress Silvia Navarro as Regina Bárcenas and Rafael Sánchez Navarro as her husband Alonso San Roman. It is heavily speculated this television program, was created in order to favor Zavala in the 2018 elections against MORENA's political candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador whom Televisa doesn't want as president due to his leftist political points of view.
Proven intentional lack of news covarage of Jaime "El Bronco" Rodriguez CalderonPrevious to the release of the telenovela, during the same year Televisa found in itself on another political bias controversy showing bias against Nuevo León's governor Jaime "EL Bronco" Rodríguez Calderón whom is a potential 2018 presidential candidate, it happened on 11 September 2016, during a Live-Television News broadcast from "Monterrey al Dia" where Televisa news reporter, Karla Minaya, mistankely said: "hay que tratar de que el gobernador, por cierto, entre lo menos posible" showing clear signs of political bias from the network. The Mexican newspaper El Universal published on social media a video of the event, which was covered by national news media although Televisa didn't mention the story and declined to comment. El Bronco's predecessor Rodrigo Medina de la Cruz had spent 4000 millions of pesos on bribing television news media, to clean his image. Sick of the corruption, El Bronco bowed to not spend a single peso in favoring news media coverage, so in retaliation the Mexican Televisa news unfairly mention him the least possible, or with biased news coverage of unfair criticisms and defamation. In El Bronco's own words:"Hay 314 denuncias de carros robados y recuperamos 229, pero como no le pagamos a Televisa, Multimedios y TV Azteca, no lo sacan. Hemos logrado desintegrar bandas roba carros y roba traileres, y lo hemos hecho dicho en todas las ruedas de prensa, pero Televisa, Multimedios y TV Azteca no lo sacan."
Earthquake in Mexico City 2017 fake news controversyIn September 2017, an earthquake devastated Mexico City in the state of Mexico. During the news coverage of the devastation, Televisa reported there was a little girl named Frida Sofia trapped within the debris of a fallen school. However, soon after it was revealed that in fact Frida Sofia never existed. Outraged with the fake news within times of crisis, rival network TV Azteca whose television schedule of the day included The Simpsons, decided to air specifically more than two decades old "classic" episode Radio Bart. Because the plot of the Simpsons episode consisted on Bart Simpson doing a prank, where he fooled the people on Springfield to think a little kid named "Timmy O'Toole" was trapped in a hole, mirroring the way Televisa fooled Mexico about Frida Sofia. The usage of such airing choice to criticize their rival network's fake news was praised by their viewers and international news media alike, leading to Timmy O'Toole to become a trending topic in social media, due to the Mexican people explaining their support through internet memes. Televisa was heavily criticized for sharing such fake news, because those news made rescue teams waste time initiating an effort to save the non-existing girl, distracting them from saving the real people who were trapped in debris.
Denigratory treatment towards womenIn the Netflix documentary focused on the story of how actress Kate del Castillo met Mexican drug dealer Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán. The aforementioned former Televisa actress, along producer Epigmenio Ibarra, both stated that during the 90's Televisa treated actresses as sex objects, going as far as offering them to investors and publicists.
Partnerships with other television networks
Televisa and UnivisionTelevisa has an ongoing relation with the United States's Univision network, dating back to the 1960s, when Univision's predecessor, the Spanish International Network, was owned by Telesistema Mexicano, Televisa's predecessor. In 1986, Televisa became embroiled in a scandal with the SIN network news. The management wanted to produce and broadcast a newscast with Jacobo Zabludosky out of Miami. Half of the staff walked out of their jobs alleging Jacobo Zabludosky was a puppet of the Mexican government who had soft views on Fidel Castro's Cuba. The Televisa management was dumbfounded, they decided to move the now renamed Univision Network's headquarters to Laguna Niguel, California to produce their shows from there including their beleaguered news division. They returned to Miami two years later.
Televisa has been a longtime provider of programming to Univision and its sister networks. However, in recent years, Televisa's relationship with Univision has become strained. It was involved in a dispute with Univisión over the censoring and editing of its programming as well as non-payment for transmission of its programming to Univisión's Galavisión and Telefutura networks. In one editing incident, an episode of Con Todo was not shown on Galavisión due to a host appearing in blackface, and the show did not return to the cable station for two years. A breach of contract lawsuit against Univisión by Televisa has also been filed.
When Univisión came up for sale, a group including Televisa inquired about taking an up to 25% ownership stake. However, a group of U.S. private equity firms eventually gained control of Univision.
Televisa is also the former owner of Fonovisa music, which it sold in 2001 to Univision.
Fonovisa is now owned by Universal Music.
In October 2010, Televisa agreed to take a 5% stake in Univision, which it can grow in the future, and to extend and expand the companies' long-term program license agreement. The new program license agreement will include Internet and mobile rights and cover key Mexican football rights. The agreement will run through at least 2020, but more likely 2025 or later, compared with the previous deal's 2017 expiration.
Televisa along with Univision and ABC launched Fusion, a news channel for English speaking Latinos, on 28 October 2013.
Televisa and TelemundoOn 18 March 2008, Televisa and NBC Universal announced a 10-year multiplatform agreement that would allow 1,000 hours of Telemundo programming from news, entertainment programs, specials, and sports to be broadcast over not only its Galavision channel, but also its SKY Channel and Cablevision cable system starting in April, as well as a planned Telemundo pay TV channel to be launched later in 2008. On 19 May 2009, Telemundo and Televisa sent out an announcement that the jointly owned network will come together in August 2009.
The network launched in August and is available on cable and satellite.