Univision, Televisa complete merger
February 1, 2022
By Colin Mann
Grupo Televisa and Univision Holdings II, Inc. (together with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Univision Communications, have confirmed the completion of the $4.8 billion (€4.3bn) transaction between Televisa’s media content and production assets and Univision.
The new company, TelevisaUnivision, creates the world’s leading Spanish-language media and content company. TelevisaUnivision will produce and deliver premium content for its own platforms and for others, while also providing solutions for advertisers and distributors globally.
“The close of our transaction marks a historic moment for our company and our industry,” said TelevisaUnivision CEO Wade Davis. “We are combining two iconic and market-leading companies that have a rich, shared history and an incredible portfolio of assets. This combination will create a business without comparison in the global media landscape. Over the past year both companies have transformed themselves, reaching levels of financial performance and audience resonance that has not been seen for years. The power and momentum of the transformed core business is truly unique and will be a springboard for the upcoming launch of the preeminent Spanish-language streaming service. The new trajectory of our company is supported by our new ownership group, which is well positioned to amplify the efforts of one of the best leadership teams in the world.”
“The combination of content assets from Televisa and Univision, the two leading media companies from the two largest Spanish-speaking markets in the world, has created a company with tremendous potential,” added Alfonso de Angoitia, Executive Chairman of the TelevisaUnivision Board of Directors. “With our attractive financial profile and history of innovation, TelevisaUnivision is ready to revolutionise the industry by delivering the most comprehensive Spanish-language content offering to audiences around the world.”
The transaction brings together the most compelling content and intellectual property with the most comprehensive media platforms in the two largest Spanish speaking markets in the world. Televisa’s four broadcast channels, 27 pay-TV channels, Videocine movie studio, Blim TV subscription video-on-demand service, and the Televisa trademark, will be combined with Univision’s assets in the US, which include the Univision and UniMás broadcast networks, nine Spanish-language cable networks, 59 television stations and 57 radio stations in major U.S. Hispanic markets, and the PrendeTV AVoD platform.
Together, TelevisaUnivision owns the largest library of Spanish-language content and intellectual property in the world, and the most prolific long-form Spanish-language content engine in the industry. As a result of the combination, TelevisaUnivision reaches over 60 per cent of the respective TV audiences in both the US and Mexico. Across television, digital, streaming, and audio, the Company reaches over 100 million Spanish speakers every day, holding leading positions in both markets.
Since announcing the transaction on April 13th, 2021, Univision and Televisa have each transformed their core businesses in anticipation of the integration and are delivering the highest levels of financial and audience growth either company has experienced in years. The long-standing partnership between the two businesses has allowed for improved content and business coordination that will accelerate the integration. These efforts uniquely position TelevisaUnivision to begin executing immediately on a combined strategy and capture the tremendous opportunity presented by the global Spanish-speaking population of nearly 600 million, which represents an aggregate GDP of approximately $7 trillion.
The companies have strategically assembled a senior management team of world-class leaders for the global operation, combining great professionals from Televisa and Univision, as well as bringing in top talent from leading media and technology companies.
In addition, the TelevisaUnivision transformation also included the development of a massive pipeline of original content for the upcoming global streaming launch, investing in new advertising products in both markets, revamping the programming strategy and executing new distribution partnerships, as well as launching the PrendeTV AVoD service in the US, which has served as a powerful pilot for the upcoming streaming launch.
As a result of these strategic efforts, both companies have experienced above market advertising revenue growth. Univision’s advertising revenue through the first nine months of 2021 increased by 32.6 per cent, returning significantly beyond 2019 levels, while Televisa’s advertising revenue for the same period increased by 24 per cent year-over-year.
Univision’s portfolio of television networks, consisting of Univision, UniMás, Galavision and TUDN, delivered 62 per cent of the primetime viewing on Spanish-language television in the US among adults 18-49, up from 58 per cent compared to 2020, and marked the highest audience share since 2014. Meanwhile, Televisa’s content performance and audience delivery in Mexico was equally as impressive. The top 20 programmes on broadcast television in Mexico were produced and transmitted by Televisa. Televisa’s top three programmes during 2021 had audiences between 63 per cent and 73 per cent higher than the top-rated programmes of its closest competitor. Throughout the week, Televisa’s audiences were 91 per cent higher than those of the second largest broadcaster, while audiences at its flagship network, Las Estrellas, were 154 per cent higher than those of its closest competitor. Televisa transmitted eight out of the 10 soccer matches with the highest audiences in Mexico during 2021.
TelevisaUnivision remains on track to launch its previously-announced unified global streaming service in 2022, which will include both a free and a premium subscription tier. The service will have the largest offering of original Spanish-language content in the US and Latin America, including dramas, comedies, docuseries, game shows, reality shows, variety programmes, movies, musical and cultural events, children’s and educational programmes, sports and special events, as well as trusted news programming.
By tapping into Televisa’s vast content vault, along with the new Spanish-language originals in development and a wide range of collaborations with some of the most notable established and up-and-coming creators today, this offering will be the world’s first large-scale streaming service specifically developed for the Spanish-speaking audience.
Creative partnerships with Eugenio Derbez, Selena Gomez, Maria Dueñas, Mario Vargas Llosa and Santiago Limón were among the first announced and will fuel what the partners say will be a truly compelling and first-of-its-kind offering.
Wade Davis will lead TelevisaUnivision as CEO. Alfonso de Angoitia will serve as Executive Chairman of the TelevisaUnivision Board and Marcelo Claure will become Vice Chairman of the Board.
The TelevisaUnivision Board will also comprise Emilio Azcárraga, Bernardo Gómez, Michel Combes, Gisel Ruiz, Oscar Muñoz, Maria Cristina ‘MC’ Gonzalez Noguera, Eric Zinterhofer and Jeff Sine. In addition, Televisa retains the right to appoint two additional directors.
Content production and operations in Mexico will be led by Bernardo Gómez and Alfonso de Angoitia, Co-Chief Executive Officers of TelevisaUnivision Mexico, who also remain co-Chief Executive Officers of Grupo Televisa. Grupo Televisa’s news operations in Mexico will become part of a new, independent company dedicated to producing news for TelevisaUnivision’s networks in Mexico, and will be led by Emilio Azcárraga, Executive Chairman of the Grupo Televisa Board of Directors.
The Company’s new investors include SoftBank Latin America Fund, Google and The Raine Group.