Could This Be the Beginning of a Tectonic Media Shift?

March 18, 2008

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And I thought I would never see the day – but times do change. The Miami Herald reported this morning that Telemundo and Televisa have reached a 10-year agreement to have Televisa distribute Telemundo programming in Mexico. The deal itself probably won’t have a major immediate effect on the US media market, but combined with Televisa’s ongoing legal feud with Univision, it could signal a fundamental realignment of the forces that have governed Spanish-language television in the US over the past decades.

Univision’s ratings dominance has been anchored on the Mexican soap operas to which they have had exclusive rights as Televisa’s partner. Whether Televisa severs its programming relationship with Univision now as a result of their legal battle or down the road when their agreement expires, it could represent a huge windfall for Telemundo who have long languished in second place without access to the Mexican programming that is so popular among the immigrant population.