UPDATE 1-Mexico's Televisa posts third-quarter loss after Iusacell sale

jueves 23 de octubre de 2014 19:59 GYT
 

(Adds reason for loss, context, share price)

MEXICO CITY Oct 23 (Reuters) - Mexican broadcaster Grupo Televisa, the world's biggest provider of Spanish-language content, posted a third-quarter loss on Thursday due to a one-off hit on the sale of its stake in wireless cell phone company Iusacell.

Televisa, which is in the midst of a regulatory crackdown in Mexico, said it lost 182.8 million pesos ($13.62 million) in the third quarter, compared with a 2.39 billion peso gain in the same period last year.

The company suffered a $320 million one-off loss from the sale of its 50 percent stake in wireless carrier Iusacell. Televisa had already written down the bulk of what is a nearly $900 million loss on its original purchase.

Televisa said revenue for the quarter rose 5.7 percent as the company's pay-TV businesses thrived. The company also said it added 160,183 new subscribers to its Sky pay television service, which now boasts more than 6.5 million customers.

The company controls more than 60 percent of free-to-air TV in Mexico but is facing tough new measures stemming from a telecoms reform that seeks to drive competition in the sector.

Two of Televisa's long-serving board members have left since September due to "conflicts of interest", one for his son's ties with rival billionaire Carlos Slim, who controls America Movil , and the other for bidding to run a new TV channel.

Spain's Telefonica, which is Mexico's No.2 wireless carrier, is now said to be considering a tie-up with Televisa, including creating a new telecommunications company together, a person with knowledge of the matter said last month.

Shares in Televisa closed up 1.24 percent at 93.25 pesos before the results were reported.

($1 = 13.4235 Mexican pesos at end-Sept) (Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter and Christine Murray; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)