Billionaire Carlos Slim, called the world's richest man from 2010-2012 by Forbes magazine, waded into Mexican league soccer this week with the official announcement that he would acquire a 30-percent stake in Grupo Pachuca, which owns the teams of Pachuca and Leon.
On Thursday the league held a press conference in Mexico City to announce TV transmission rights in Mexico for the Leon home games, which will be via UnoTV, the news and video channel Slim owns. It is anticipated that next year, once Pachuca's contract with competitor TV Azteca ends, that the team will follow Leon's suit.
Slim's phone company, America Movil SAB, started the online news service, UnoTV, earlier this year, with a focus on Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city.
"We feel very honored to have our new board member with us," said Grupo Pachuca president Jesus Martinez via press release.
Analysts speculate that Slim and his family have no interest in owning a professional soccer team, or they would have invested long ago. Mexican soccer analysts believe the move was done to provide Slim with content for his media venture.
Slim and America Movil are currently locked in a battle with TV companies Televisa and TV Azteca, both of whom are claiming that America Movil needs a government license to offer video programming over the America Movil phone network. Slim, meanwhile, has insisted that while he can't offer cable service, he needs no permit to produce video for the internet.
The permits, however, have not proceeded even though Mexico's FCC (Cofetel) granted its recommendation or 'default affirmation' to allow the phone company to provide services of restricted television.