Univision & Televisa Team Up

Mexican media giant Televisa is merging its development and production arms with U.S.-based Hispanic broadcaster Univision, with an exec from the latter overseeing operations. Isaac Lee, chief news, entertainment and digital officer at Univision and CEO of its English-language network Fusion, becomes the chief content officer at Televisa as part of the move.

Univision and Televisa’s combined audience is around 175 million viewers, and the U.S. firm said the two companies would have an aggregate purchasing power of close to $2 trillion. The aim is to create a “single, integrated focus on the Hispanic audience” across both countries while delivering savings from “aligned content initiatives.”

All other operations of both companies will remain separate, and their existing programming license deals remain unchanged. Lee reports to Univision CEO Randy Falco and Emilio Azcárraga Jean, president of Televisa.

Falco said: “I look at Isaac Lee as the ideal leader of our joint content efforts. With his creative mind and a keen understanding of the rapidly changing tastes of young audiences, Univision and Televisa are best positioned to continue to evolve our aligned content offerings.”

Azcárraga added: “By unifying our production of content for distribution on multiple platforms in Mexico and the U.S., we will take advantage of the unique opportunity that Televisa and Univision have to compete more effectively in an increasingly complex and fragmented industry.”

The news comes amid declining Univision ratings as viewers turn away from traditional telenovelas, with grittier, more contemporary drama now on the slate. Meanwhile, Televisa, which has a stake of around 40% in Univision, has appointed José Bastón Patiño as president of Televisa International, reporting to Azcárraga. Bastón, president of TV and content at Televisa, will be responsible for the expansion of the company beyond the U.S. and Mexico.

“We already reach more than 70 countries around the world, but there is an opportunity to strengthen our presence in many markets and improve our prospects internationally,” Azcárraga said.

Univision and Televisa are have participated at a number of NATPE Markets.  Visit our Exhibitor Directory to learn more about all current market exhibitors and to explore their programming catalogs. 

This article was originally published on Day 1 of the NATPE Daily. Read more from NATPE Daily Day 2.