Univision Scores Sub Goals With World Cup


New York — With Spanish-
language rights to the 2010
FIFA World Cup in the U.S. as the
draw, Univision Communications
has scored a number of advanced
platforms deals ahead of
the June 11 kickoff of the futbol
tourney from South Africa.

The U.S. Hispanic media leader
has significantly built up its base
of high-definition carriage and is
adding video-on-demand and interactive
applications with cable,
satellite and telco affiliates.

Univision executive vice president
of distribution sales and
marketing Tonia O’Connor said
the media giant has been talking
with carriers since it completed its
distribution deals in 2009.

“Hispanics are passionate
about soccer and the World Cup.
We have been working with affiliates
since we completed our distribution
deals last year to help
them grow their businesses,” she
said. “Those efforts have escalated
dramatically as the World
Cup nears.”

O’Connor said all of Univision’s
owned-and-operated stations
and 90% of TeleFutura’s
will now be carried in high-definition by the time Mexico opens
the World Cup against the host
nation on June 11. Univision and
TeleFutura will present all 64
matches in the enhanced format.

DirecTV and Cablevision are
among the carriers that have added
the HD versions of Univision
and TeleFutura to their lineups.

During the tournament, Univision
On Demand will feature
hundreds of hours of World Cup
content — on top of its normal
50-hour offering — that distributors
can customize depending
on their capacity.

Time Warner Cable is offering
some on-demand games in HD,
but will make all the matches
available throughout the event.
Comcast’s on-demand offering
will include the games in both
standard- and high-definition
format; it has also launched
TeleFutura and Galavision linear
channels in additional markets.

Univision signed up seven
new affiliates for UOD in the
U.S. and Puerto Rico: Advanced
Cable, Atlantic Broadband,
Mediacom Communications,
Liberty Cable, Choice
Cable, One Link and Charter

Dish Network, the first distributor
to offer all three of the
company’s linear networks —
Univision, TeleFutura and Galavisión
— in HD, is also offering
VOD fare, plus interactive applications
involving the matches
and a mechanism by which
viewers can vote for which side
they think will win the game.

AT&T U-verse will offer ondemand
content and a multiview
application. In addition
to delivering live access to all
64 matches, U-verse will feature
comprehensive Univision
Spanish-language content in its
on-demand library, as part of
its club sponsorship.

In its initial Spanish-language
TV app, U-verse will present Univision
Multiview, enabling users
to simultaneously watch the Univision,
TeleFutura and Galavisión
networks, as well as Univision
and TeleFutura stations, featuring
World Cup matches and content.

After FIFA’s tournament ends
on July 11, Univision will again
use futbol as a distribution
driver: it recently secured rights
to the Mexican national team’s
friendlies and World Cup qualifiers through the 2014 tournament
in Brazil, via a deal worth
some $75 million.

Univision wouldn’t comment
on the price tag, but O’Connor
notes Univison has full VOD and
digital rights. “You can expect us
to pursue more opportunities
with our affiliates ,” she said.