Grupo Televisa SA, the world’s largest Spanish-language broadcaster, reported a drop in Q2 ad sales after a disagreement with billionaire Carlos Slim. The broadcast division, Televisa’s largest unit, reported a 5.9% decline in sales to $458 million, Mexico City-based Televisa said in a statement. Leaving out sales to Slim’s businesses, the drop would have been 1%, Televisa said.
Slim’s companies stopped buying spots from Televisa this year because of a dispute over prices. As well, Slim’s landline carrier, Telefonos de Mexico SAB, competes with Televisa’s cable units for phone and Internet customers, and the companies filed antitrust complaints against each other this year.
“We would welcome them back as clients anytime,” Jose Baston, Televisa’s president of television and content, said on the Q2 conference call. However, the companies aren’t in talks to reach an agreement, he said.
The advertising unit’s operating profit also fell 8.7% a year earlier, when the broadcasts of soccer’s World Cup drew more customers.
Revenue from Univision Communications, which pays royalties to Televisa for programming, gained 63% to $60.2 million. Televisa agreed in October to a new royalty arrangement with higher payments as part of a plan to invest $1.2 billion in Univision for a stake of as much as 35%.