MEXICO

Netflix breaks up with Mexico’s Televisa in the most soap-opera way possible

US online content provider will no longer carry the Mexican station’s popular shows

A still shot from the Netflix ad.

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The video shows a preppy-looking young man with slicked-back hair, buttoned-up shirt and a high-pitched voice. He looks devastated. A young woman walks into the room.

— What is it, my love? Why the long face?

— Netflix took off my favorites series...

This is the beginning of the Netflix Latin America ad explaining that the streaming content company has just parted ways with Mexico’s main television station, Televisa.

Netflix is making fun of what was some of its own most-watched content

The break-up means that Netflix no longer offers the content that Televisa was supplying, mostly soap operas. And it has chosen to tell viewers about it in the funniest way possible.

The message is clear: “We are eliminating the soaps, but leaving you other much more interesting series.”

That is why the woman concerned about the preppy guy thinks that Netflix has canceled Breaking Bad, Stranger Things or Orange is the New Black. But no, he is crying over Rebelde, a Mexican soap opera for teens.

Netflix is saying goodbye to Televisa and saying “I don’t need you,” as though it were a romantic break-up.

Ever since Televisa created its own online content platform, Blim, earlier this year, the relationship had been doomed. Both online providers are in direct competition with one another.

Yet Netflix is making fun of what was some of its own most-watched content. Mexicans consume well-known American shows, but they are also hooked on homegrown soap operas such as El señor de los cielos (The Lord of the Skies), Teresa, Rebelde (Rebel) or La Rosa de Guadalupe (The Rose of Guadalupe), according to a Forbes study.

Televisa’s online platform has already informed followers of soaps such as El señor de los cielos – loosely based on the life of drug lord Amado Carrillo Fuentes – that if they want to keep watching new episodes, they will have to take out a subscription to Blim. Before October, the series was also available on Netflix.

The US company landed in Mexico in 2011 and boasts over four million subscribers in Latin America, according to its own figures. A monthly subscription in Mexico is 99 pesos (around $5). Blim is slightly more expensive at 109 pesos a month.

But Netflix and Blim are not the only video-on-demand suppliers in the market. There is also Clarovideo, which is owned by América Móvil, and HBO GO in alliance with Dish.

English version by Susana Urra.

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