UPDATE 1-Mexico awards Grupo Radio Centro, Cadena Tres free-to-air TV channels
(Adds sector background, link to Vazquez profile)
MEXICO CITY, March 11 (Reuters) - Mexico awarded two new free-to-air television channels to media group Cadena Tres and Grupo Radio Centro as part of an overhaul to drive competition in the concentrated telecoms sector, the country's telecom regulator IFT said on Wednesday,
Cadena Tres, which is part of Grupo Empresarial Angeles, a conglomerate owned by Mexican plutocrat Olegario Vazquez, offered 1.81 billion pesos ($116.8 million) for the network that will cover 106 million people, the IFT said.
Vazquez heads the privately owned media, hotels, construction and hospitals firm Grupo Empresarial Angeles. He is widely seen as seeking to parlay the new media acquisition into additional business and political clout.
The other channel was won by Grupo Radio Centro , which offered 3.1 billion pesos.
The auction of the two new digital TV channels is part of a wider telecommunications overhaul finalized last year which hopes to shake up the broadcasting sector, which is dominated by Televisa, the world's largest provider of Spanish-language content, and TV Azteca. (Reporting by Tomas Sarmiento; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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