Univision Reaches Retransmission Pacts With Time Warner Cable, Dish


It's April 1, but there was no fooling around for Univision on the retransmission-consent front.

The U.S. Spanish-language media leader has reached agreements with Time Warner Cable and satellite provider Dish Network.

The deal with Time Warner Cable was expected because Univision had reached an agreement in principle with the nation's No. 2 cable operator. However, Univision was in a dispute with Dish Network and had begun running crawls on some of its stations that its service could be disrupted after April 1.

In both cases, Univision's contracts with the distributors expired on March 31. However, there was a built-in one-day grace period, stemming rules prohbiting the pulling og signals during sweeps periods. This year, the February sweep was pushed into March in deference to potential signal disruption owing to the original Feb. 17 digital transition deadline, which has been pushed to June 12.

Financial terms were not disclosed for either deal, but Univision has been seeking cash in exchange for consent for its signal transmission. At its 2007 upfront presentation to advertisers, the Spanish-language media leader in the U.S. indicated it would seek $1 per sub. Since then, cable operators have said the programmer has reduced its asking price. 

The multiyear Dish deal, which was reached this morning, calls for the carriage of national feeds of Univision, broadcast brethren and Telefutiura, as well as cable cousin Galavision. It also covers the local signals of Univision and Telefutura stations.

The parties didn't have a comment at press time.

Similarly, under its new pact, TIme Warner Cable has secured long-term retransmission consent for carriage of Univision's owned -and-operated broadcast stations and distribution rights for the cable network, Galavisión, and the broadcast network feeds for Univision and TeleFutura. The agreement includes, in certain markets, the carriage of affiliated stations owned and operated by Entravision Communications Corp. and Equity Media Holdings Corp.
Moreover, Univision will partner with Time Warner Cable to deliver enhanced video services, notably Start Over and Look Back, as well as extensive video-on-demand and broadband offerings.
"Univision's local programming is extremely important to us and our customers so we are very glad that we were able to renew our partnership agreement with them," said Melinda Witmer, executive vice president and chief programming officer for Time Warner Cable, in a statement. "Our customers will benefit from this new arrangement, as it represents an exciting long-term expansion of our relationship with Univision for Spanish-language programming."
Noted Univision executive vice president, distribution sales and marketing Tonia O'Connor: "This agreement is further evidence of Time Warner Cable's commitment to Hispanic audiences. Hispanics represent a growth opportunity for distributors and our goal in this highly competitive environment is to build long-term partnerships that tap into the power of our brand, deliver top quality programming, leverage our multiplatform offerings and provide innovative products to our audiences."
With the Time Warner Cable and Dish deals, Univision has inked another major retransmission consent pact, adding to the contracts it reached earlier this year with Comcast, DirecTV, AT&T U-verse and Insight Communications. It has also scored agreements with 50 other smaller distributors.