Giving the Legal I.D. in Mexico
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Thread: Giving the Legal I.D. in Mexico

  1. #1

    Giving the Legal I.D. in Mexico

    What are the rules in giving the legal I.D. in Mexico? Some stations give it at the top of the hour, call letters and city. Some don't. Some give it at the bottom of the hour. And I noticed XETRA-FM Tijuana, which is an English-language station aimed at San Diego, has a recorded female voice say the call letters in Spanish but instead of the city, she gives the state's name. "XETRA-FM, Baja California, Mexico." Or at least that's what I heard a few years ago when I was in San Diego. An earlier thread discussed how "City of License" isn't something used in Mexico as it is in the U.S.

  2. #2

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    David Eduardo would have the true answer more than likely; I thought the rule was at least at one time twice an hour. I'd heard about another requirement to play the Mexican National Anthem every day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gr8oldies View Post
    David Eduardo would have the true answer more than likely; I thought the rule was at least at one time twice an hour. I'd heard about another requirement to play the Mexican National Anthem every day.
    Let's see if Raymie, who frequents the Phoenix board, can give us the exact and current requirement. He is an expert on all things Mexican in the areas of radio and TV and even has his own section on the WTVFDA tv and fm dx club site.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEduardo View Post


    Let's see if Raymie, who frequents the Phoenix board, can give us the exact and current requirement. He is an expert on all things Mexican in the areas of radio and TV and even has his own section on the WTVFDA tv and fm dx club site.
    I have been summoned!

    The 2014 Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law (LFTR), the current law governing all aspects of broadcasting and telecoms, gives no such requirement...

    ...but its predecessor, the Federal Radio and Television Law, did! (The LFRTV was replaced in 2014, so this is no longer law, but it is still custom.)

    The last revision of the LFRTV, in the appropriate Article 76, reads:

    "En toda transmisión de prueba o ajuste que se lleve a cabo por las estaciones, así como durante el desarrollo de los programas y en lapsos no mayores de 30 minutos, deberán expresarse en español las letras nominales que caracterizan a la estación, seguidas del nombre de la localidad en que esté instalada."

    or translated

    "In any test transmissions that stations carry out, as well as during programs and at least every 30 minutes, the call letters assigned to the station must be expressed in Spanish, followed by the name of the locality in which the station is installed."

    Stations tend to have long IDs in Mexico — often including such details as their power, ownership and location of their studios and transmitter (30 seconds is a common duration). I've located the transmitter of at least one station using a DXer's aircheck of their ID.

    The bare minimum ID would go something like "XHMD-FM, León, Guanajuato" —*like an FCC legal ID. But those are rare.

    And the ones Tijuana border blasters like that say "Baja California, México" are technically incomplete — they don't give a locality, just a state. BCA does this correctly on its AMs ("XEPE 1700 AM, Tecate, Baja California") but not on XHPRS-FM 105.7.

    ———

    Also, a special mention has to be given here that there are FMs utterly incapable of getting their callsign right. Usually, this is because the station is an AM-FM migrant. Particular examples I know of are XHEOA, XHECPQ, and XHEPQ. I've heard airchecks from the first two and seen materials from the third in which the E is missing.

    Each of these is truly special in some form. XHEOA ("XHOA") does not have the XHOA-FM callsign because that used to be the callsign of XHOAX-FM prior to a permit discontinuity that prompted new callsigns for every single FM station (33 of them) owned by the government of Oaxaca. XHECPQ doesn't have XHCPQ because that's the callsign of an allotment, in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo (there are allotments with callsigns in Mexico, wildly enough —*some date to 2000 and have been protected by callsigns like XHEVAB, XHECPQ and XHERIO). XHEPQ doesn't have XHPQ because, unlike the SCT in 1994, Cofetel avoided many duplications of callsigns to existing stations (there's an XHPQ-FM in León, Guanajuato).
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymie View Post
    I have been summoned!
    Thank you! That is a marvelous and detailed explanation.

    So you are saying that, if the new law does not require identification, stations are doing it out of habit or preference?


    I always wondered about the ones with lengthy ID's that included the name of the building,t he street address, the colonia, the city and the state and, of course, "México" at the end. I could never see why or how the audience might even care about that!

    I loved the traditional "X...E...W. La Voz de la América Latina desde México". What more could you want?

    P.S. Do you have a final count of how many AM stations moved to FM and returned the license for AM, as well as a count for those that were allowed to add an FM while keeping the AM to serve areas the FM might not cover? The last count on the total moves I heard, which was from Carlos Aguirre about 3 years ago, was 585.
    Last edited by DavidEduardo; 01-01-2017 at 11:15 PM.
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    I would think in that case, if IDs are no longer required, the English language stations targeting San Diego and other U.S. markets would skip them completely in favor of whatever their English language positioner is.

  7. #7
    The thing is that all this stuff still carries some weight. I'm sure stations are still expected to ID, but it's certainly not in the LFTR! This was enforced by the RTC anyway. I found one reference to some admonishments/observations issued to stations for "omitting the station ID". But the RTC has generally gone soft and hasn't nailed anyone about it for four years.

    As to David's question about AM-FM migrants...

    My count, based on the March 2016 IFT tables:

    -451 stations that have concluded their migration
    -75 stations that are stuck with their AMs for now (or until other radio services are available in every community where the AM is the last available station)

    minus

    -XERY Arcelia Gro., which renounced its AM-FM migration concession (potentially alongside sister XEXY Cd. Altamirano)

    and also there are

    -83 combos authorized by the SCT in 1994 that are permanent AM-FM combos
    Last edited by Raymie; 01-02-2017 at 02:23 PM.
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  8. #8
    Thanks for the info! So Mexico goes from requiring the legal I.D. every 30 minutes, to a new agency not specifying any schedule for legal I.D.s. Interesting that in Mexico, the government is willing to let AM radio die everywhere except the largest cities and along the U.S. border. While in the U.S., the FCC is still trying to keep AM active. We'll see what happens with the Trump Administration FCC. But there has been no large scale switch of AM stations to FM that we've seen in Mexico and Canada.

    Look at WFAN in NYC, where CBS has put the sports programming on FM but keeps its simulcast with 660 AM, so its 50,000 watt signal can serve the farther suburbs. CBS does the same with All-News stations in Chicago and San Francisco. Meanwhile plenty of Mexican AMs have left the air, even some of the Class A stations. Is 540 XEWA San Luis Potosi's 150,000 watt transmitter still on the air, one of the most powerful in North America? There's been speculation its been either downgraded or turned off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg. View Post
    Thanks for the info! So Mexico goes from requiring the legal I.D. every 30 minutes, to a new agency not specifying any schedule for legal I.D.s. Interesting that in Mexico, the government is willing to let AM radio die everywhere except the largest cities and along the U.S. border. While in the U.S., the FCC is still trying to keep AM active. We'll see what happens with the Trump Administration FCC. But there has been no large scale switch of AM stations to FM that we've seen in Mexico and Canada.
    When Mexico legislated to create a path for about 500 or so AMs to switch to AM or add an AM (see the numbers in Raymie's post) their legislative body declared that AM was of limited viability and a path to save the investments and the jobs had to be created.

    They later modified the position via administrative decisions when they realized that rural services, particularly ones in indigenous languages, were better achieved on AM. And then they saw that some broad coverage AM stations that would be replaced with more limited FMs would leave big rural areas with less or no service, so they required or allowed the AM to survive in an AM/FM simulcast.

    Now they are authorizing some new AMs, mostly to serve rural and / or indigenous population zones. In Mexico there are over 100 indigenous languages and dialects, spoken by about 8% of the population.

    Raymie can give more details. My source is a luncheon conversation with two directors of the CIRT, the Mexican equivalent of the US NAB radio broadcaster group.

    In much of Latin America, calls are not used at all, or minimally. Stations are registered under the station name, not the call letters. My favorite anecdote is while working for Emmis' stations in Argentina, some US supplier needed call letters for a contract. We did not know them, and a call to the government FCC-equivalent got a "we don't know, but we can look it up". It took two days for them to find the data and get back to us.

    Is 540 XEWA San Luis Potosi's 150,000 watt transmitter still on the air, one of the most powerful in North America? There's been speculation its been either downgraded or turned off.
    Raymie, paging Raymie!
    Last edited by DavidEduardo; 01-05-2017 at 05:09 PM.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEduardo View Post
    When Mexico legislated to create a path for about 500 or so AMs to switch to AM or add an AM (see the numbers in Raymie's post) their legislative body declared that AM was of limited viability and a path to save the investments and the jobs had to be created.
    Not to mention it wanted more stations to be able to use IBOC or go digital down the road.

    XEWA/SLP is still on the air because of what I call the "last radio service" rule. Stations cannot shut off on AM if there are communities in the AM service area that receive no other radio station. This was the case for XEWA, especially given its clear channel status — ten municipalities in five states, in fact. XERF is under the same rule.

    There is going to be a second round of AM-FM migration now that 400 kHz station spacing is possible. Some 47 stations will get to move. The real winners on that one are in a few border cities, Guadalajara and Puebla. Mexico City only has two available frequencies, and one will go to a public broadcaster so just one commercial station will get the nod. The kicker? New-round migrants are required to use IBOC!

    That said, the CDI has had to fully migrate a few stations —*XHTUMI comes to mind. The first new AM I saw authorized in years is in Chiapas (the callsign is XERAM-AM) and it was given the green light after a decade of waiting for a permit — it had waited so long that the era of permits was over!

    Thanks for the info! So Mexico goes from requiring the legal I.D. every 30 minutes, to a new agency not specifying any schedule for legal I.D.s.
    Not quite. The constitutional reform in 2013 led to the change in agency. The replacement of the LFRTV with the LFTR in 2014 led to the formal dropping of the ID requirement. I imagine that was not an expected consequence or a simple oversight.
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