December 1, 2017 / 12:38 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Slim's America Movil acquires some 2018-2024 Olympics TV rights

(Adds background on America Movil’s push into television, analyst comment)

MEXICO CITY, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Mexican telecommunications firm America Movil said on Thursday that it had acquired the rights to show the Olympic Games from 2018 to 2024 in some Latin American countries, marking the company’s latest bid to boost its presence in television.

America Movil, controlled by the family of billionaire Carlos Slim, said it had acquired exclusive pay TV and digital rights for Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. The broadcasting will begin with next year’s winter games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The company also acquired non-exclusive pay TV rights for Mexico.

It did not give financial details.

The deal is a fresh move by America Movil into television and content, as it seeks to diversify beyond its traditional telecommunications business.

Telecommunications and media have been converging for years as consumer viewing habits shift online.

“I would imagine that they are going to try to use this as a bargaining chip to develop their presence, or at least to start learning firsthand how the business works,” said David Joyce, an analyst with investment bank Evercore.

America Movil has been denied a TV license in Mexico since the privatization of Telmex, its fixed-line unit, in 1990.

The company’s executives have said they plan to apply for a license as soon as regulators give them the green light. In the meantime, the company appears to be doing as much as it can to establish a foothold in the business, Joyce said.

The company previously acquired Latin American broadcast rights to the 2014 Sochi Olympics and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

In September, it struck a deal to sell its stake in a group of Mexican soccer clubs, stating that it intended to focus on offering sports content. (Reporting by Julia Love and Christine Murray; additional reporting by Daina Beth Solomon, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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