Net will air near-live highlights for online and wireless

Univision may not have the right to distribute Televisa content (i.e. telenovelas) on the web as its major Mexican supplier stressed Wednesday, but when it comes to the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Univision is pulling out all the stops on its exclusive U.S. Spanish-lingo coverage rights.

Starting today Univision Online will air near-live video highlights for online and wireless. For the first time, soccer fans will have the opportunity to follow all 64 matches anytime, anywhere through Univision.com and Univision Movil.

Major sponsors led by Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, PUMAand Verizon Wireless have bought ad space.

Users will also have access to highlights of Univision’s archived 2002 World Cup videos as well as its blanket television coverage of the 2006 World Cup, which kicks off today.

Univision.com delivers more than 10 million unique browsers and 370 million page views per month, per the Media Rating Council. Web site is projecting record traffic growth throughout the tourney.

Univision has also launched a music digital store on Univision.com in time to take advantage of the World Cup traffic. Site features a minimum of 1.1 million tracks across all genres, with a core base of 55,000 Latin songs. Plans are underway to add thousands more. Univision.com already offers physical albums and ringtones.

As for Internet rights to Televisa’s programming, Univision prexy Ray Rodriguez declared during the recent upfront in New York that there was a “difference of opinion” over rights. Televisa has countered that its programming pact with Univision clearly prohibits both parties from distributing Televisa product in the U.S. through Dec. 19, 2006, after which Televisa believes it can legally distribute its own product.

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