The Borneo Post (Sabah)

Spanish-language TV giants team up to take on Netflix

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MEXICO CITY: Spanishlan­guage television giants Televisa of Mexico and Univision of the United States are joining forces to compete with Netflix and Amazon in the booming market for digital streaming.

The two firms will combine their content and form a new company called Televisa that will be‘ the biggest and most relevant Spanishlan­guage media group in the world,’ a Televisa statement said.

Televisa said that it would receive US$4.8 billion – US$3.0 billion in cash and most of the remainder in Univision shares – in return for contributi­ng its content assets.

The Mexican group will be the top shareholde­r in the new company with a stake of 45 per cent under the deal, which covers broadcast, subscripti­on, digital and live television.

The tie-up is backed by Japanese investment giant Soft Bank, US technology titan Google and investment bank The Raine Group.

The new company is expected to launch a global streaming platform in early 2022 to meet the growing demand for content from the estimated 600 million Spanish speakers in the world, the statement said.

Mexico, home to 126 million people, is the most populous Spanish-language market, it noted.

Televisa distribute­s its content through broadcast channels in over 70 countries.

It will contribute its four free-to-air channels, 27 pay-TV networks channels and stations, its Videocine movie studio and Blim TV subscripti­on video on demand service to the new company.

Univision is the leading Spanish-language content and media company in the United States, where it owns numerous broadcast and cable networks as well as television and radio stations, the statement added.

“This transforma­tive combinatio­n brings together the leading network serving US Spanish-language audiences with the leading media platform in Mexico powered by the most powerful Spanish-language content engine in the world,” said Univision chief executive Wade Davis.

“Televisa-Univision will emerge as the leading global Spanish-language multi-media company, uniquely positioned to capture the significan­t market opportunit­y for Spanish speakers worldwide.”

Less than 10 per cent of the Spanish-speaking population uses a streaming service, compared with nearly 70 per cent in the English-language market, offering significan­t room for growth, the statement said.

“Together, Televisa-Univision can more aggressive­ly pursue innovation and growth through digital platforms as the industry continues to evolve,” said Televisa executive chairman Emilio Azcarraga. — AFP

 ?? — AFP photo ?? The Univision building a day after the company announced plans to merge with Grupo Televisa in Miami, Florida.
— AFP photo The Univision building a day after the company announced plans to merge with Grupo Televisa in Miami, Florida.

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