Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim’s cell-phone company, America Movil, said on Tuesday it would launch a television channel in the United States targeting Mexican audiences later this year, putting it into competition with broadcasters like Univision and Telemundo.
Named Nuestra Vision, the channel will be offered by the America Movil unit Publicidad y Contenido Editorial, the company said in a statement that was flanked by a promotional video online.
“Nuestra Vision is focussed on Mexicans, made by Mexicans and transmitted from Mexico,” said the voice-over for the video, which was studded with images and snapshots of Mexico.
Slim, a major force in pay TV in Latin America, has been kept out of the Mexican market by regulators wary of the financial muscle he can bring to bear from his telecoms empire.
America Movil is the biggest cell phone company in Latin America, and helped to make Slim the richest man in the world for several years.
Univision has a close alliance with Mexico’s top broadcaster Televisa, which has for years wrestled with Slim in the Mexican telecommunications market that he dominates.
Nuestra Vision – “Our Vision” – will broadcast news, movies and sports highlights, America Movil said, stressing the company’s pledge to be “100 percent” Mexican and promote Mexico’s heritage.
The channel’s launch coincides with a charged atmosphere between Mexico and the incoming U.S. president Donald Trump, who has taken an aggressive stance towards the Mexican economy and sparked dismay with outspoken comments on migrants.
Trump has proposed taking punitive steps against producers of Mexican-made goods in an effort to bring jobs and investment back to the United States, and has also threatened to tear up a joint trade deal that underpins Mexico’s export model.
Slim was critical of Trump during the U.S. election campaign, but after meeting the New York real estate magnate for dinner last month, he was left was a “very positive” impression from the president-elect, the Mexican mogul’s spokesman said.
An estimated 35 million people living in the United States are Mexican or of Mexican background.
(Reporting by Dave Graham and Noe Torres, editing by Larry King for Reuters)