Univision Adds Insight, AT&T To Retrans Roster


Tonia O'Connor and her team have been busy.
Univision's executive vice president of distribution sales and marketing and the media company's affiliate group have finalized over 50 retransmission-consent deals with video providers, adding Insight Communications and AT&T's U-verse to its roster with multiyear agreements.
The U.S. Spanish-language media leader -- which earlier this week concluded a retransmission-pact with DBS giant DirecTV after reaching a contract with top cable operator Comcast in January -- also said that it now has accords with such distributors as Atlantic Broadband, Baja Broadband, Etan Industries, Grande Communications, Guadalupe Valley Communications, Qwest Communications, Service Electric and TVMAX.
Deal terms were not disclosed, but Univision has been seeking cash.
In 2007, Univision disclosed that for the first time it would seek retransmission consent, rather than must carry for its stations. During a press conference following its 2007 upfront presentation to advertisers in New York, Univision Communications Inc. CEO Joe Uva declared that the company would seek license fees of $1 per subscriber for its stations.
While it's unclear what terms the company has reached, some cable operators have indicated that Univision has lowered its license-fee asking price substantially.
Akin to the deals struck with Comcast and DirecTV, the agreements with Insight and the smaller distributors encompass continued distribution of Univision, broadcast brethren TeleFutura and cable service Galavision, and in appropriate markets stations owned and operated by Univision. In certain DMAs, affiliate stations owned and run by Entravision and Equity Media Holdings Corp. are also part of the agreement.
A source familiar with the deals said Univision has been negotiating with the smaller distributors individually. It does not have a pact in place with the National Cable Television Cooperative, which negotiates on behalf of its members.
As for the AT&T pact, it extends to the distribution of Galavision and the network feeds of the two broadcast services, as well as continued carriage of the Univision owned-and-operated stations. In this case, affiliated stations owned and run by Entravision, Equity, Calipatria Broadcasting Company, LLC and JKB Associates, Inc. are also covered.
Next up could be a deal with Time Warner Cable. Univision's carriage contract with the nation's second largest operator expires at the end of March, according to sources.