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Azteca swings to loss, drops Comarex deal

TV Azteca is ending its programme sales deal with distributor Comarex, and is understood to be taking content sales in-house.

The news comes as the Mexican broadcaster reported disappointing full year results, registering a MXN$2 billion loss compared to a MXN$280 million (US$15.4 million) profit a year earlier.

Azteca has a longstanding relationship with Comarex, which has shopped its novellas globally. This will no longer be the case, and there are no Azteca titles on the Comarex MIPTV slate.

Azteca said 2015 as “a year of great challenges” in a statement to the local stock exchange. Revenues of MXN$12.9 billion were flat, while EBITDA profit tumbled 33%, taking the total to MXN$2.5 billion.

“During the period we carried a firm control of expenses, and developed a strict cost budgeting in content generation that will maximise the contribution of each programme to the results of the company,” said Esteban Galíndez, CFO of TV Azteca.

He added: “This will strengthen the profitability and cash generation, and will result in an increasingly robust capital structure in TV Azteca.”

Comarex, meanwhile, confirmed the distribution change, but had no further comment. The Mexico-based distributor did announce its MIPTV slate, which was notable for the absence of any shows from Azteca.

Comarex still has repping deals with Italy’s Mediaset and Chile’s Canal13 among others. Earlier this year it announced distribution veteran Marcel Vinay Sr. as company president.

He was previously the long-serving head of international at Azteca, before moving over to Comarex, which is run by his son, Marcel Vinay Jr.