Televisa and Univision will launch streaming platform in Spanish in the first semester

Alfonso de Angoitia, CEO of Grupo Televisa, during an interview with Reuters, in Mexico City. January 28, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Romero

By Cassandra Garrison

MEXICO CITY, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Mexican media giant Grupo Televisa and the American Univision are preparing to launch in the first half of 2022 what would be the world’s largest streaming platform in Spanish, after sealing a deal for a joint venture on Monday, an executive said.

The new company, TelevisaUnivision, will combine the contents of both networks to target a global Spanish-speaking audience of 600 million people.

An ad-supported version of the streaming platform will be launched in the first half of the year and the subscription-based product will be launched in the second half, he said. Alfonso de Angoitia, CEO of Televisa, in an interview with Reuters.

The streaming platform, still without a name, enters a field full of strong competitors, such as Prime Video, from Amazon; More, from Disney, y Netflix, which last year announced that it would spend 300 million dollars on original Mexican productions.

De Angoitia, who will head TelevisaUnivision’s board, insisted that the platform could differentiate itself from the rest, highlighting Televisa’s huge content library and sports broadcast rights.

“We will be a fierce competitor”, he ruled, adding that at least one new “high-quality” movie or series would be uploaded every week to the subscription service in the first year.

Customers in Mexico and the United States will be the first to access the platform before it is rolled out in other Latin American countries and in Spain.

A kind of territorial war broke out after the TelevisaUnivision plan was made public in April.

Televisa attracted executives from Netflix, Disney Plus and others. Competitors scrambled to find big stars, prompting the Mexican company to establish more attractive and exclusive contracts with talent, De Angoitia said.

American singer and actress Selena Gómez, Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, Spanish author María Dueñas and Mexican comedian Eugenio Derbez are among those working on productions for the platform.

The new company will generate enough free cash flow to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in more content, De Angoitia said.

EFFECTIVE COMPETITION

The conclusion of the TelevisaUnivision agreement comes after a tumultuous week in the telecommunications industry in Mexico.

A long-awaited vote by the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) left América Móvil, the largest company in the sector in the country, without the coveted authorization to enter the pay television market, a prospect that had shaken its competitors, including Televisa, the current leader in the segment.

“In the telecommunications sector we have not yet seen effective competition … this is not the time to grant that change to América Móvil,” De Angoitia said, adding that the IFT “could do more” to regulate competition.

América Móvil’s foray into pay TV, already dominant in mobile telephony and internet services, would make it “increasingly difficult to compete,” he added.

TelevisaUnivision’s operation is partially financed by a $1 billion Series C preferred investment led by SoftBank Latin America Fund, with participation from ForgeLight, The Raine Group and Google, which also collaborated with technology and engineers.

Last week, Softbank announced the departure of its chief operating officer, Marcelo Claure, after a salary dispute. Claure will maintain her position on Univision’s board of directors, De Angoitia explained.

(Reporting by Cassandra Garrison, editing by Christian Plumb and Alistair Bell, translated by Adriana Barrera)

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Reference-www.infobae.com

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