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Telemundo, Televisa in Content Deal

3/18/2008 6:58 AM Eastern

Mexican television, long dominated by the duopoly of Grupo Televisa and TV Azteca, is about to welcome content from an unlikely third player: NBC Universal’s Telemundo.

After a lengthy negotiating process, Telemundo signed a programming agreement with Grupo Televisa to distribute original programming in Mexico. The deal, announced earlier this week, includes thousands of hours of Telemundo programs such as telenovelas, news and sports to be broadcast in Televisa’s Channel 9. Financial details were not disclosed, but the deal includes distributing Telemundo content in Mexico across multiple platforms, including broadcast TV, pay TV and digital.

Effective April, Televisa’s Channel 9 will broadcast more than 1,000 hours a year of Telemundo original programming. In addition to the broadcast platform, Televisa will distribute a new pay TV channel to be launched later this year by Telemundo featuring the network’s branded entertainment and news content.

According to a joint statement, Televisa will provide distribution for the pay TV channel in Mexico, including its satellite platform Sky and cable system Cablevision, reaching over 2 million households at launch. The license agreements for Televisa’s Channel 9 and the new pay TV channel will have an initial term of 10 years, respectively.

The agreement comes after a long effort by NBCU to establish a foothold for Telemundo in Mexico. It also is a victory for Televisa, which in 2006 made a failed attempt to buy Univision and is seeking to get out of a long-term contract to provide programming to Telemundo’s rival in the U.S., Univision.

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