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Debate relegated to minor TV channels

April 28, 2012

Buried on two public television channels, the first debate between the five candidates for the Jalisco governorship will have to compete with popular telenovelas for a meaningful share of the audience.

The 90-minute debate takes place Tuesday May 1, from 8 p.m. It will be broadcast on state government network C7 and the University of Guadalajara’s Canal 44, with private stations opting not to show it.

In this time slot, the former channel averages about 160,000 viewers of the 4.2 million people in Guadalajara, while the latter channel receives an audience of just 8,000. The scheduling of the debate means it will clash with prime time national soap operas, which command 720,000 viewers on average in Guadalajara.

Although the debates will also be broadcast online, this is not expected to significantly increase viewing figures. Census figures reveal just 652,000 of Guadalajara’s 1.8 million homes have a computer, and of these, only 487,000 (30 percent of homes) have internet access.

The second gubernatorial debate takes place Sunday, June 10, at 10 a.m., with a presidential debate also scheduled for 8 p.m. that evening.

The first of the Jalisco debates will be centered on the issues of culture, education, economic development and the enforcement of justice, while in the second the candidates will discuss health, urban development, ecology and public safety.

The five candidates for governor are Aristoteles Sandoval Diaz of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Enrique Alfaro Ramirez of the Citizen’s Movement, Fernando Guzman Perez Pelaez of the National Action Party (PAN), Fernando Garza Martinez of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) and Maria de los Angeles Martinez of the New Alliance Party (PANAL).

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