Mexico's Televisa Given FCC Approval to Increase Univision Ownership Stake

Jenni Rivera in Mexico City
Victor Chavez/WireImage

Jenni Rivera photographed at the Hotel Presidente Intercontinental on Nov. 28, 2011 in Mexico City, Mexico.

Mexican media giant Televisa will be able to own a bigger share of U.S. based media giant Univision. According to a joint statement released today by both companies, the FCC, in a declaratory ruling, approved an increase in the authorized foreign ownership of Univision's issued and outstanding shares of common stock from 25 percent to 49 percent.

In the same ruling, the FCC authorized Televisa to hold up to 40 percent of the voting interests and 49 percent of the equity interests of Univision.

The decision is something Univision had pursued for a year, since it filed a petition with the FCC asking them to allow an increase in Televisa's ownership. The move is seen as a way for the company to strengthen its position in the market. Univision filed its intent to go public last year, but has not announced any other moves towards an IPO since.

"The Commission concluded that permitting increased foreign investment in Univision would serve the public interest in diversity and competition in the media sector without any countervailing national security, law enforcement or trade policy concerns," read the statement.

At a programming level, Televisa already supplies Univision with the bulk of its programming, particularly the many Mexican-made telenovelas that are its bread and butter. Now, it could have an even bigger say in what Univision's TV properties put on the air. At the same time, Univision is also venturing into producing more original series, including one based on the life of singer Jenni Rivera, which premieres this month.


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