(Adds regulatory reform background)
MEXICO CITY, April 28 Mexican broadcaster Grupo
Televisa, the world's biggest provider of Spanish-language
content, said on Monday first-quarter profit fell 20 percent
from a year earlier, a period that reflected a gain from
offloading distribution rights.
The company reported a profit of 853.9 million pesos ($65
million), compared with 1.07 billion pesos in the year-ago
Televisa did not mention recent regulatory
changes in its home market of Mexico that could help competitors
of its broadcast, Internet and pay television businesses.
A one-time gain related to distribution rights with DirecTV
in the United States created additional income for the
company in 2013, but the absence of that gain, coupled with
higher legal and consulting costs, created an unfavorable
net-profit comparison, Televisa said.
Excluding those one-time items, Televisa said profit rose 3
percent to 3.15 billion pesos, from 3.06 billion pesos in the
January-through-March period a year earlier.
Revenue rose 9 percent to 16.924 billion pesos, helped by
higher advertising sales and program royalties.
Mexico's government in March presented a bill that fleshed
out last year's constitutional reform to increase competition in
the country's television, telephone and Internet sectors. The
bill is in limbo, however, as politicians argue over its
Televisa has criticized the bill, saying it would impose
unprecedented and "disproportionate" obligations that go far
beyond what a regulator would require.
Televisa shares closed down 0.08 percent at 84.32 pesos on
Monday shortly before the results were released.
($1 = 13.06 pesos at end March)
(Reporting by Elinor Comlay, Alexandra Alper and Christine
Murray; editing by Matthew Lewis and Richard Chang)