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Cofetel. Program of Concessioning of Television Broadcasting Frequencies that may be subject to...

Cofetel. Program of Concessioning of Television Broadcasting Frequencies that may be subject to Public Bid. [12/06/2012]


On June 12th of this year the Decree by which the Federal Telecommunications Commission (Cofetel) issues the Program of Concessioning of Television Broadcasting Frequencies that may be subject to Public Bid was published in the Official Federal Gazette. This Program was part of the campaign promises of then-candidate Felipe Calderón and finally, just months before the end of his Administration, it was published.

In essence, the Program recognizes the need to increase the penetration and expand the offer of services in the broadcast television sector (Open TV), in order to incorporate new options. Specifically it mentions that two concession holders (Televisa and TV Azteca) concentrate 95% of the commercial stations of the country, 99% of the advertising and 98% of the audience, and therefore the challenges in investment for any aspirant to create a new national channel, or even regional, are enormous if the regulatory conditions that permit competition in equal conditions do not exist. In this context, the Program indicates that most countries that have culminated or are in process of transitioning from Analog TV to Digital have taken advantage of the technological change to change the market structure, parting from the possibility of transmitting a greater quantity of signals using less spectrum.

In this context, Cofetel attempts to unite México to this trend and take advantage of the transition to DTT (digital terrestrial television) in order to expand the penetration and improve the content options for the population, also including advertising.

Based on the above, the Cofetel conducted a public survey at the end of 2011 from which they determined the populations that are incorporated into the Program and that are susceptible to spectrum bidding for DTT.

However, while this is an important first step in the long process of opening the market of broadcast television, it will prove to be insufficient and will fail if it is not accompanied by important changes to the regulatory framework, especially with regard to the introduction of Must Carry and Must Offer as reciprocal obligations of content among the new stations and the means of distribution (restricted TV and DTT).

You can consult the text of the Program at: http://dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5251783&fecha=12/06/2012




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