Univision Fortifies Retransmission-Consent Roster

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Univision Communications continued its retransmission-consent quest, inking multiyear distribution pacts with Cox Communications, Cablevision Systems Corp. and Mediacom Communications.

Overall, Univision has reached agreements with 100 distributors for continuing carriage of the three Univision services: broadcast networks Univision and TeleFutura and basic-cable service Galavision. Some of the agreements -- whose terms were not disclosed -- include retransmission consent for affiliated stations owned and operated by Entravision Communications and Equity Media Holdings.

The deal with Cablevision Systems was sealed Tuesday morning June 23, and involves New York owned-and-operated stations WXTV (Univision) and WFUT (TeleFutura), as well as Galavision. Just one day earlier, Univision's New York-area outlets were running a TV advisory in which Univision executive vice president and chief strategy officer Cesar Conde warned subscribers of the DMA's predominant MSO about potential service disruptions.

The spot had directed viewers to a toll-free phone number where they were transferred to a Cablevision customer-service representative.

A Cablevision spokesperson on Tuesday morning said that "we have concluded our discussions with Univision and we are pleased with the results."
A Univision spokeswoman confirmed that a deal with Cablevision has been reached and that the warning iwas no longer running.

The deal with Cox, the third-largest U.S. cable operator, also encompasses continued distribution of Univision's broadcast networks, Univision and TeleFutura, and cable network, Galavisión, as well as in certain markets carriage of stations owned and operated by Univision.

The agreement, terms of which were not disclosed, also includes carriage of affiliated stations owned and operated by Entravision and Equity Media.

 "Cox has been a great partner and over the years has worked closely with us to better serve and grow their Hispanic subscriber base. This long term distribution deal allows Cox continued carriage of our services, plus the launch of Univision on Demand," said Univision executive vice president, distribution sales and marketing Tonia O'Connor in announcing the deal. "Cox was one of the first cable operators to focus on the Hispanic consumer by deploying our services broadly across its service area in markets such as San Diego, Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas."

The Mediacom, Cablevision and Cox contracts are just the latest in a series of deals that seen Univision score retransmission-consent agreements this year with Verizon's FiOS TV, Comcast, DirecTV, AT&T U-Verse, Insight Communications, Time Warner Cable, Dish Network and a host of smaller distributors.
Previously, Univision elected for must-carry. Initially, the Spanish-language media giant was seeking a $1 monthly per subscriber fee as announced by CEO Joe Uva after its upfront presentation to advertisers in 2007. However, distribution community sources indicate the compensation has been lowered substantially.

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