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Television in Mexico first began in August 19, 1946 in Mexico City when Guillermo González Camarena transmitted the first television signal in Latin America from his home’s bathroom. On September 7, 1946 at 8:30 PM (CST) Mexico’s and Latin America’s first experimental television station was established and was given XE1GC callsign. This experimental station broadcast an artistic program and interviews on Saturdays for two years.
Mexico’s first commercial station XHTV channel 4 was established on August 31, 1950 in Mexico City. It started transmitting on the following day. It is also the first Hispanophone or Spanish speaking country to introduce television. The first program to be broadcast was Mexican President Miguel Alemán Valdés IV Informe de Gobierno. Mexico's first color television transmission was carried out by Guillermo González's XHGC Canal 5 in Mexico City.
There are six major commercial broadcast television networks in Mexico, of which four are owned by Televisa and two by TV Azteca. Televisa owned networks are Canal de las Estrellas, FOROtv, Canal 5, and Galavisión. The TV Azteca owned networks are Azteca 7 and Azteca 13. All six networks have their flagship stations located in Mexico, Distrito Federal. These flagships are XEW for Canal de las Estrellas, XHTV for FOROtv, XHGC for Canal 5, XEQ for Galavisión, XHIMT for Azteca 7 and XHDF for Azteca 13. There are two minor networks Multimedios Television and cadenatres with few repeaters and affiliates but are available nationwide through pay television companies.
The first cable system started to operate in the early 1960s in Monterrey, as a CATV service (an antenna at the top of the Loma Larga, which could get TV signals from South Texas). Most of the other major cities didn't develop cable systems until the late 1980s, due to government censorship. By 1989, the industry had had a major impulse with the founding of Multivisión—a MMDS system who started to develop its own channels in Spanish—and the later development of companies such as Cablemas and Megacable.
Over the past few years, many US networks have started to develop content for the Latin American market, such as CNN en Español, MTV, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, and others. The country also has a DTH service called SKY (Televisa & News Corp. owned). Recently DirecTV merged with Sky. The dominant company nowadays is Megacable and Grupo HEVI.
The digital transition was divided in 6 triannual periods and started on July 5, 2004—just three days after the adoption of ATSC. The analog signal was to be cut off no sooner than January 1, 2022. Today, all networks in Mexico have programming in HDTV. Availability of HD feeds depends on the local broadcaster.
In 2013, Tijuana was the next market to be phased through the digital switchover. After a one-month delay to ensure that digital penetration had crossed the 90% threshold, signals were turned off on May 28. However, Cofetel allowed the Tijuana stations to resume analog broadcasting just a few days later over concerns that the switchover would have a negative impact in the lead up to state elections on July 7; the switchover occurred for good on July 18.
On May 29, 2014, already delayed from November 2013 due to lack of resources, another wave of markets—Ciudad Juárez, Nuevo Laredo-Reynosa, Matamoros and Monterrey—are slated for digital switchover, followed by the Mexico City, Guadalajara and central regions on November 26, 2014, and the remainder of the country by December 31, 2015.
|This list is incomplete. (January 2012)|