Mexican TV Stations To Show Soccer Rather Than Presidential Debate

KPBS, 5/4/12

Mexican voters will get their first chance this Sunday to see the country’s presidential candidates debate on national television. Problem is, they’ll have to decide whether to watch the debate, or a major national soccer match.

Sunday’s presidential candidate debate is the first of just two to be televised nationally leading up to the July 1 elections. But it’s questionable how many people will be watching. Neither of the country’s two major television networks — TV Azteca and Televisa — plan to broadcast the debate on their main channels. Instead, they’ll broadcast a quarterfinals match between two top-tier soccer teams, Tigres and Morelia.

The decision has sparked outrage among many politically minded Mexicans, some of whom believe that by relegating the debate to smaller channels watched by only a fraction of viewers, the media conglomerates are favoring presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

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