(Bloomberg) -- TV Azteca saw measures of profitability plunge in the last three months of 2022 as costs related to the World Cup and new shows by far offset gains in sales. 

Mexico’s No. 2 broadcaster said on Monday its fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation fell 55% to 668 million pesos ($36.4 million) in the fourth quarter compared to 1.48 billion pesos in the same period in 2021. Revenue rose 31% in the same comparison to 5.2 billion due to advertising related to World Cup soccer matches. 

Azteca shares rose 5.2% Tuesday in Mexico trading. They are down 15% this year, compared to a 10% rise for the Mexbol index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

Mexico’s broadcasters have been facing increasing competition for their soap operas from shows on streaming services. Chief Executive Officer Rafael Rodriguez said Ebitda will likely remain at “relatively low levels” due to higher production costs and the downward trend in TV advertising revenue due to the growth of digital media. 

Controlled by Ricardo Salinas Pliego, Mexico’s third richest man, TV Azteca filed earnings a day before a deadline that would have triggered a trading halt. The company had not met a Feb. 27 deadline for fourth quarter reports.

The broadcaster has been in a drawn out standoff with creditors after it halted bond payments in 2021. Last week, three creditors filed a petition to force TV Azteca into involuntary bankruptcy in the US, the latest twist in the saga that followed the company winning a court order in Mexico blocking any payments until the coronavirus outbreak is declared officially over. 

Read More: TV Azteca Creditors Try to Push Broadcaster Into Bankruptcy

Analysts from Fitch Ratings, which has a restricted default rating on the broadcaster, said the company paid down local debt during the fourth quarter and seemed to have enough liquidity to meet other debt payments.

”The generation of income is there,” said Alberto Moreno, a senior director at Fitch. “It is not paying by choice.”

(Adds stock move in 3rd paragraph; analyst comments in 7th paragraph)

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