TV Mexico part 2
Earlier in Part 1 we reviewed the major Mexican television networks' presence on the 'Net. This month we pay a visit to cable programmers and ask the simple question - what's on? Surprisingly, most of these networks lack reliable viewing schedules. That said, this is part of the web that is in the midst of rapid change, so expect surprise in the coming year.
Clearly, the best of the lot, this site combines a high-tech approach with abundant content. While there are no fixed URLs for specific networks carried by Multivision, you can find programming information ( http://www.mvs.com.mx/programacion/) where you can select any specific channel and receive a program guide every two weeks. It would be helpful if there were some sort of searchable guide, but this is a good start. The site also has information on current promotions.
Mexico's other leading cable provider has a confusing and very slow-loading website. Furthermore there are no URLs for specific pages, making it impossible to bookmark your favorite channels. Programming details are archived at another website ( http://www.prevue.com/) and offers only the details about shows that are on at that hour. Frankly, I'd rather just channel surf.
For viewers, this website is an embarrassment. This global network, whose Latin American division reaches over 11.3 million households throughout Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and South America, has TV listings with little in common with actual broadcasts. When I checked the site in January, the TV listings on the site actually touted the NBA games (though the season did not start until February due to labor strife). While ESPN has a content-rich and engaging website, it should offer its viewers in Latin America reliable TV listings.
Here's another site that disappoints. While the cable giant does have a programming guide ( http://www.hbo-ole.com/oeste.htm), this must be the slowest-loading page on the 'Net. When I sent HBO an e-mail request for a better guide, I received a large 300K e-mail in a programming language I couldn't read. What happened to text-only files? The site provides no background details on its programs, except for a select few each month.
Zona Latina - Latin American Media
Anyone interested in the business-side of Latin America media should bookmark Zona Latina. It's a superb collection of links for regional and national cable/satellite broadcasters. Cable networks can be found online http://www.zonalatina.com/Cablenet.htm.
From Zona Latina, I discovered the Latino TV website ( http://www.channel1.com/users/zamawa/tv/latinotv.html), based on a master's thesis and then expanded. This work prepared by Zamawa Arenas ( email@example.com) offers business researchers a thoughtful analysis and a first-rate compilation of data. For example, you'll find out which companies are the top US programmers for Latin America - http://www.channel1.com/users/zamawa/tv/usprog.html. The site also includes updates which makes it an excellent reference guide.
Finally, keep an eye on RealNetworks ( http://www.real.com), a company that offers software that allow users to listen to radio programming on the web, and - in the newer versions - watch video, reminiscent of the stop-motion movies from the turn of the century, except you can watch SportsCenter or Comedy Central highlights.