Tuesday, July 26

Televisa Cranks Up Heat on Univision

MultiChannel.com is reporting on the ongoing feud between Televisa and Univision. My sources inside Univision tell me it really all started with a petty fight by Televisa, because they felt they where not being treated like partners and where not consulted on a decision. That's how it all started.
Tension between Univision Communications Inc. and Mexican programming partner Grupo Televisa SA, continues to mount.
Televisa — which owns 9.3% of the Univision — has added new charges to a lawsuit against Univision, claiming the U.S. network violated the terms of its programming contract.

Televisa executive VP Alfonso de Angoitia told analysts during the network's second- quarter report conference call that Televisa has added two claims to its $1.5 million lawsuit filed in May over allegedly unpaid back royalties, according to Philip Remek, an analyst at Guzman & Co.

De Angoitia said Univision had altered programs "in ways not permitted" by an agreement over rebroadcasts of soccer games.

He also charged that Univision had violated an agreement to give Televisa unsold ad time. "They have unilaterally refused to broadcast certain Televisa advertising," said de Angoitia.

A Univision spokesperson said in a prepared statement: "The lawsuit is baseless and we intend to vigorously defend against it."

Meanwhile, Televisa and EMI Latin announced an alliance to launch a new music company in Mexico and a U.S. partnership that will give Televisa a new entry into the Latin music market.

Both ventures — Televisa EMI Music in Mexico, and EMI Televisa Music in the U.S. — will be headed by Rodolfo López Negrete, former president of BMG U.S. Latin. The EMI-Televisa venture could put the Mexican network in direct competition with Univision's music division, Univision Music Group.

In 2001, Televisa sold label Fonovisa to Univision as part of a renegotiation of Televisa's long-term accord to supply programming to the U.S. Spanish-language group. According to press reports, Televisa received approximately $235 million in Univision stock and signed a noncompetition accord. The clause expired in April.