Univision, the leading Spanish-language television network in the United States, will retain the rights to popular telenovelas produced by the Mexican Grupo Televisa for another 15 years.
Televisa will invest $1.2 billion in Univision in exchange for a minimum five percent stake in the company and a new content licensing agreement for the telenovelas and for some Mexican football matches in the US.
Most of Univision’s top-rated shows in prime time are Televisa’s telenovelas, so the extension of the agreement was important. The existing agreement for exclusive American rights to the telenovelas was to expire in 2017. The new one takes the companies at least through 2025, and potentially longer if certain conditions are met.
Importantly for Univision, the deal also includes Internet streaming rights for Televisa’s programming, something it lacked before, and “the right to launch new services,” said Haim Saban, chairman, said Univision could decide to dedicate some of its digital subchannel space to a telenovela channel. He also said the company could start a sports channel.
Televisa lost out in 2006 to an investor group led by Saban in a battle to takeover Univision.