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This page considers the Azteca broadcasting group in Mexico.

The group

Azteca is the world's second largest Spanish-language television programmer.


Ricardo Salinas Pliego entered his family's ailing retail business Grupo Elektra in 1981 as import manager. Salinas became CEO in 1987, expanding the chain from 50 stores to over 1,000 outlets by offer credit to consumers. Elektra now is the largest provider of unsecured credit in Mexico.

In 1993 he led a group of investors in acquiring the group of television stations that became TV Azteca, challenging Televisa's monopoly on Mexican commercial television programming.

Five years later Salinas won the license for a national mobile phone network, subsequently sold to TV Azteca as Unefon. The Biper paging service was rebadged as Movil@ccess. His Telecosmos internet service provider offers wireless broadband connections and IP telephony. Mexican internet portal Todito is half-owned by Azteca (with the other half by computer wholesaler Dataflux).


There is currently no major English-language study of Salinas or Azteca. A perspective is offered by Alex Saragoza's forthcoming The Mass Media and the Mexican State: the Origins of Televisa (Austin Uni of Texas Press) and 'Globalization & Latin Media Powers: The Case of Mexico's Televisa' by Andrew Paxman & Alex Saragoza in Continental Order? Integrating North America for Cybercapitalism (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield 2001) edited by Vincent Mosco & Dan Schiller.

For background see Arlene Dávila's Latinos, Inc. The Marketing and Making of a People (Berkeley: Uni of California Press 2001), Latin American Broadcasting: From Tango to Soap opera (Luton: Uni of Luton Press 1997) by Elizabeth Fox and and Latin Politics, Global Media (Austin: Uni of Texas Press 2002) - co-edited by Fox & Silvio Waisbord.


1993 acquires control of what becomes TV Azteca

1997 unsuccessful US$700 million bid for Telemundo

1999 Azteca acquires Unefon from Salinas

2000 establishes Todito internet portal

2001 establishes wireless broadband firm Telecosmos

2001 restructures Biper as two-way pager company Movil@ccews

2001 creation of Azteca America Network in US