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América Móvil Launches Netflix Competitor in Mexico

1 Dec, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The telecommunications giant is majority owned by the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim Helú

Wireless operator América Móvil has launched a subscription video-on-demand service in Mexico, offering unlimited streaming content to subscribers for about third less a month than Netflix.

Called Clarovideo, the SVOD service launched service Nov. 30, offering subscribers access to TV shows and movies in Spanish for 69 pesos a month ($5.30). Netflix, which launched SVOD service in Mexico and Latin America in 2011, charges Mexican subs 99 pesos monthly ($7.66).

SVOD content includes past seasons of “Desperate Housewives,” “Lost” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” among others.

Unlike Netflix, Clarovideo offers transactional VOD, including movies such as The Artist, Shame and Requiem for a Dream, among others, for 49 pesos ($3.75) each. Catalog titles rent from 19 pesos ($1.46) each.

Notably, publicly held América Móvil is majority owned by Mexican telecom mogul Carlo Slim Helú, ranked by Forbes as the richest man in the world, with personal net worth in excess of $69 billion — $8 billion ahead of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

While Netflix spends billions licensing top-tier TV shows and, to a lesser extent, theatrical releases, it wasn’t immediately clear how much América Móvil (Clarovideo) is spending.

América Móvil, which generated nearly $2.4 billion in operating income in the third quarter (ended Sept. 30), and operates wireless networks throughout Latin America, said it ended the quarter with 319 million user accounts after adding 4.1 million wireless subscribers and 1.6 million fixed-line revenue generating units. Revenue-generating accounts include 255.9 million wireless subscribers, 30.3 million landlines, 16.7 million broadband accesses and 15.8 million pay-TV units, according to a regulatory filing.

Netflix spokesperson Juris Evers said the SVOD pioneer expects new market entrants and is well-positioned to compete.

“There will be many players,” Evers told Bloomberg.com, which first reported the story. “We want to be the best at it and be a great option for consumers. People will likely subscribe to multiple services, though.”

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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