The mysterious radio player who projects a national reach from Zacatecas

NTR, tv zac Y radio cannon are part of the same economic interest group, one that three decades ago began in the electronic media from the depths of Zacatecasin Tlaltenangowith two AM transmitters, but now with 62 AM/FM stations in the stock market that it acquired on four different occasions and the direct coverage of fifty cities in the Republic and the potential reach of sixty million Mexicans that these frequencies allow, this is a media group that today is in a position to position any type of advertising strategy or brand at the national level.

This is the group that also brings together newspapers, corporate telecommunications services and services for mass consumption, plus two open television channels —one commercial and the other social— in the West Y Shallows of Mexico, and was one of the few concessionaires that in 2018 opted to retain a piece of the valuable 2.5 Gigahertz (GHz) spectrum, enough today to market incipient 5G products in Zacatecas capital and Guadeloupe, where TV Zac has that coverage enabled and if that were its plan, beyond the high-speed Internet that today exploits using the frequency; or even to sell it expensive to Telcel, because the operator does not have that same band there and needs it for its 4G-LTE network.

The novelty of the economic group led by TV Zac is not the strange editorial relationship it maintains with the capital’s newspapers The financial Y Reform —those newspapers are reproduced on the NTR website and there is a sharing of drivers between two of those three media—, but the fact that its radio arm Radio Cañón bought 52 stations between the years 2021 and 2022, frequencies that were added to the first two that the group originally had in Tlaltenango, to the other two that in 2016 it bought from Radio Melody Y Radio Tapatia in Guadalajara and the six that he later won by contest in the IFT-4 tender of the year 2017.

Radio Cañón can now boast that its territorial coverage exceeds from 2021 that achieved by two historic radio groups in Mexico: Grupo Siete and Radiópolis, and that it has also expanded more rapidly throughout the country compared to the times it presents the Herald Radio chain; and all this without counting yet the 27 stations that the Radio Cañón-TV Zac duo won this year in the IFT-8 tender in exchange for 87.22 million pesos and in fact, the group from Zacatecas was the largest bidder for the frequencies of this bidding contest, since the next bidder offered and paid 48.74 million pesos for four stations in Sinaloa and Sonora, in Mazatlán and Hermosillo.

The group from Zacatecas paid the equivalent of 23% of all the 384 million pesos that the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT) raised at the auction stage of the IFT-8.

TV Zac and its Radio Cañón should no longer be considered a very local station in the wild Zacatecas, since their signal reaches the four corners of Mexico. From border to border, it is heard in Mexicali and from there to Tapachula, and then from Guadalajara to Xalapa. It also broadcasts or is about to do so from the ports of Mazatlán, in the resorts of Tulum, Puerto Vallarta and Cancún, and is also in the industrious Querétaro, Torreón and San Luis Potosí, and the baroque Puebla and Taxco, as well as in the heroic Chilpancingo. . Of course, it also has an enabled coverage of 92 kilometers from the center of the CDMX with radio XEABC-AM 760 KHzalthough this does not yet seem to be the jewel of the group due to its barely 22,000 average listeners last May in the capital, when in other places its audience is even greater from other own stations.

In terms of audience and spectrum ownership, the challenge to avoid for the broadcaster is that one day the authority does not show up at its door with a notification of a possible substantial market power, since the company already has, for example, 23 stations in the state of Zacatecas and only Fresnillo is now TV Zac’s preserve, because the group transmits three stations there and two more also reach that relevant market with their own transmissions. Beyond Zacatecas, in San Pedro TlaquepaqueTV Zac has 19% of the spectrum available in that locality and almost 10% in Guadalajara, according to documents from the regulator.

Radio Cañón triggered between 2020 and 2021 a negotiation with the owners of the group ABC Radio to acquire all the stations of that radio company. The offer was successful and now the company owns, in addition to twenty FM radio stations that are economically more favorable in its operation, an open television channel that broadcasts over Durango.

The industry does not know how much money TV Zac paid for ABC Radio and the companies are not obliged to reveal it to the public because they are not listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV). The reliable fact is that TV Zac paid 126.12 million pesos for the 27 frequencies won in the recent IFT-8 and for the other six signals of the last IFT-4. In other words, the company has invested some six million dollars in five years just for the payment of considerations of the stations that went out to tender in national public bidding.

The echo that TV Zac is making makes it stand out as a national radio operator and to continue in the industry, because its rapid growth has been given to two bands and in multi platform: the bidding contests and the need of the usual radio groups to get rid of non-strategic assets and that local and regional broadcasters have taken advantage of, says Gabriel Sosa Plata, an observer of the broadcasting industry:

The rallies in which it has been involved and its participation in competitions in recent months are actions that have already made it one of the new broadcasting groups with a national reach. Their movements modify the structure of radio at the Mexican level and it is also due to the detachment of hegemonic groups, which is giving rise to emerging groups to have their national presence”, said Sosa Plata.

“This type of operation shows that the radio is still a business, or they would not do it if there was no profit, although it is also true and it has been documented that operations of this nature can always be carried out in a stage of the electoral process at the door. It is striking that it is Zacatecas, a state with good radio, but also very concentrated in the sector there. These facts give Zacatecas a dimension other than the influence it could have on the eve of an electoral process,” he added.

With the stations that TV Zac bought from the Mexican Editorial Organization On ABC Radio and the stations recently won in a new bidding process, the company is in a position to build a communication platform at the Mexican level, despite the fact that the group now only broadcasts a national newscast with only a discreet audience.

The company has the challenge of creating a brand with national projection and only it knows if the Radio Cañón concept has enough content to compete in the market with already proven concepts and well-known brands such as “Ke-Buena”, “La Z” or “La Mejor”, which over time have been configured by national radio networks through their own and affiliated stations.

The group does not yet have content that stands out and is attractive at the country level for audiences and it is not clear how long TV Zac will maintain the brand “ABC Radio”although it has been disappearing from the acquired stations, but it has not been confirmed or denied that the new chain will be baptized as “StarRadio”a name that would be backed by the Star TV brand, TV Zac’s satellite television and Internet arm that already covers nearly 90% of the national territory.

And despite this, the NTR/TV Zac/Radio Cañón group is not unknown to its industry. Already in the past he negotiated with MVS Communications use the popular “Exa” concept for one of its stations; with Grupo Siete it operated other frequencies and on occasion sold another station to the group multimedia.

for the portal In Frequencyspecialized in regional Mexican broadcasting, Radio Cañón has not yet exhibited its strategy to conquer the public, despite having invested too much money in buying more than fifty stations in two years.

It’s on Radio Cañón “hit the target”, quote In Frequencyand fight, at least, the market of the Mexico City being a new radio player here or just staying with his clear dominance of Zacatecas.

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