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Telefónica Preps Bid for AT&T's LatAm TV Unit – Report

Telefónica is interested in buying AT&T's Latin American cable and satellite TV operations, a deal that could cost it as much as $10 billion, according to a Reuters report.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) gained the extensive LatAm TV business -- ten country markets plus services in a few Caribbean islands -- as part of its $48.5 billion acquisition of DirecTV in July 2015 but is willing to sell under the right conditions. (See What's Next for the New AT&T? and AT&T Closes Acquisition of DirecTV.)

According to the Reuters report, other suitors are also interested in the operations, including cable giant Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY).

Telefónica already offers TV and video-on-demand services in six major LatAm markets that are also covered by AT&T's DirecTV services, namely Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela.

The Spanish giant stated in December that it is committed to full service operations in Latin America and has the ambition to be the leading "pay-TV company in the world in Spanish and Portuguese," an ambition that would be aided by the acquisition of AT&T's business, which boasts about 19 million users. As part of that commitment, Telefónica announced its intention to launch video services in seven new LatAm markets during 2016 -- Ecuador, Uruguay, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Ariella 1/18/2016 | 7:36:43 PM
today's TV ratings When your TV is not watched on your TV, do the old metrics for ratings matter? That's a question that will have to be answered. It came up when NBC attempted to apply its own metrics to Netflix, which prompted a furious retort from the latter:

Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, returned fire today as he spoke at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour and blasted the "remarkably inaccurate data" from NBC and Symphony.

"The methodology and the measurement and the data itself doesn't reflect any sense of reality of anything that we keep track of," said Sarandos, who noted that the 18-49 demographic that Symphony measured "is so insignificant to us that I can't even tell you how many 18-49 year old members we have. ...It's an advertising-driven demographic that means nothing to Netflix."

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