Royalty case delayed for scheduling reasons

The court faceoff between Mexican media conglom Televisa and U.S. Hispanic giant Univision Communications has been moved yet again — this time to Jan. 6.

Trial date, which was most recently moved from July 1 to Oct. 14, has been postponed several times over the past year for various reasons. Latest change has been made to accommodate the overbooked trial schedule of Univision’s attorneys from Keker & Van Nest, according to Televisa lawyer Marshall Grossman of Bingham McCutchen.

“There are no talks of a settlement and no prospect of a settlement between the two parties. Univision’s lawyers manage their calendar as well as Wall Street manages its finances,” said Grossman wryly, referring to the ongoing financial meltdown at Wall Street.

Univision and its lawyers could not be reached for comment.

At the core of the lawsuit, filed by Televisa in 2005, are royalty payments that Televisa claims have gone unpaid by Univision. Televisa is also seeking to extricate itself from its long-term programming license pact with Univision that expires in 2017, accusing Univision of material breach of contract.

Pending trial is a sore point for Univision’s new owners, a consortium of private investors led by media mogul Haim Saban, who acquired the Spanish-language net for $13.7 billion (including debt of $1.4 billion) in 2006.

A pre-trial conference between the lawyers of both parties and the L.A. District court is slated for December 15.

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