After much speculation about a break-up between Mexican media giant Televisa and U.S.-based Univision Communications, the two Spanish language media companies have reached an agreement that ensures their programming relationship will continue through 2017.
Both companies announced today (Jan. 22) that they have amended their current Program License Agreement (PLA) and that the pending litigation between them, which was already underway in a Los Angeles federal court, has been settled and dismissed.
Under the settlement, the amended PLA will give increased royalty payments to Televisa in exchange for incremental rights to Univision.
Televisa, which supplies much of Univision’s content, sued Univision in 2005. At the heart of the lawsuit were royalty payments Televisa says it was owed by Univision, whose original PLA allowed it to air Televisa content through 2017. Univision Television is the top-rated Spanish language TV network in the country.
Televisa, which is publicly held (Stock Symbol TV), wanted out of the deal, which supplied Univision and its networks (Univision, Galavision and Telefutura) with the bulk of its programming, chiefly soap operas and dramas which consistently garner top ratings.
Univision also airs top-rated music award shows like the Latin Grammys and Premios Juventud which it produces itself in the United States.
Following the settlement, whose terms were not disclosed, the two companies issued this statement:
“We are pleased that today’s settlement concludes this time-consuming litigation. This settlement serves the best business interests of both Televisa and Univision. It assures the public that Univision will continue to have access to consistently top quality Hispanic programming. It enables Televisa to continue utilizing Univision’s extensive television networks as an important distribution channel for its content into the U.S. marketplace. For Univision, it assures that there will be no disruption in some of its most popular and valuable programming, as well as affording Univision an ongoing pipeline of future content developed by Televisa.”
In addition to the settlement, Televisa said it will license to Univision the home games of its three Televisa-owned soccer teams: America, Necaxa and San Luis for 2009.
According to a press release, the Internet rights to Televisa will be adjudicated by a federal district court in Los Angeles in March, 2009.