Mexico’s Telmex launches television via Internet
Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

Mexican phone company Telmex has launched a platform that offers television via the Internet which for the moment is free but will turn into a cash generator in the future. Called “Prodigy Media,” the service offers four live channels and the ability to download videos and films. The software is available via the link Included among the channels are Fox News, TV UNAM - the television of the National Autonomous University of Mexico - and another Mexican channel which is dedicated to cultural programmes.

Telmex is controlled by tycoon Carlos Slim and because of its dominant market share in the fixed line business in Mexico the government opted last year to apply slightly stricter regulations for the company in the so-called “triple play” business. Triple play is seen as the way forward for telephone and cable television companies as it allows them to offer an integrated package of services including phone, broadband Internet and subscription television.

Under the government-published rules for triple play, Telmex has to wait until mid-2007 before offering pay TV to its range of services. Telmex is not ruling out talks on programming deals with Mexico’s two main traditional broadcasters, Televisa and TV Azteca. “We can do anything,” Ana Godinez, Telmex’s director of the Prodigy Media project told the Reforma newspaper on Monday. “It is a question of negotiations and having the content rights.”

Televisa has its own Internet platform for television, called EsMas Player, through which it transmits live its four national television channels in a service that costs $12 per month. Televisa, which is the biggest producer of Spanish language programming in the world, is also planning to enter the triple play market via its cable TV network Cablevision.

(Source: Reuters)