The biggest TV Network in the U.S., Univision, will pay $4.8 billion for the assets of Grupo Televisa, a Mexican production powerhouse that already was a minority owner of Univision. The two companies will then create Televisa-Univision, which they say will be the largest player in Spanish-speaking media. Grupo Televisa will be the largest stakeholder in the new company, owning 45%.
Additional investment in the new entity is coming from the SoftBank Latin America Fund, Google, and The Raine Group. While it has faced stiffer competition in recent years from rival Telemundo, Univision has been the longtime leader in U.S. Hispanic media. Televisa is the established No. 1 player in Mexico, the most populous Spanish-speaking market in the world. The Mexican biggest media corporation Televisa produced 86,000 hours of programming in 2020 across all genres and categories.
Univision, now run by former Viacom CFO Wade Davis after he engineered a takeover last year of 64% of the company at a fraction of previous privatization of it. The company’s portfolio includes the Univision and UniMás broadcast networks, nine Spanish-language cable networks, 61 TV stations, and 58 radio stations in major U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico. It has recently been emphasizing digital and streaming, and recently launched free, ad-supported service PrendeTV.
Davis will lead the combined company and Alfonso de Angoitia will serve as executive chairman of the Televisa-Univision board of directors. Reduced debt and better margins will result from the deal, the companies said, enabling the company to invest in the planned launch of a global streaming service in early 2022. Revenue and cost synergies are estimated at $200 million $300 million.
In announcing the deal, the companies emphasized the upside opportunity in the Spanish- language market globally. Only about 10% of the 600 million people in that market use an OTT service, they noted, while about 70% of English-language households have at least one streaming service. Davis added that the new company will be “uniquely positioned to capture the significant market opportunity for Spanish speakers worldwide.”
Together, Televisa-Univision can more aggressively pursue innovation and growth through digital platforms as the industry continues to evolve in the U.S. Televisa will retain ownership of izzi Telecom, Sky, and other businesses, as well as the main real estate associated with the production facilities, the broadcasting licenses, and transmission infrastructure in Mexico. The deal is expected to close this year and will make Televisa-Univision one of the top 5 TV/Broadcasting/Media in the world.