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Mexico Nicks MTV

Televisa deal involves licensing, magazine

MEXICO CITY– MTV Networks Latin America and Grupo Televisa have signed an exclusive three-year licensing and publishing agreement in Mexico, the first of its kind in the region, the two nets said.

The deal will grant Televisa, Mexico’s largest broadcaster, exclusive rights to license products from MTV’s Nickelodeon brand. In addition, Televisa’s publishing arm will next month publish Nick magazine, a child-oriented monthly.

Accord benefits both networks, giving each access to the strongest suits of their new partner.

MTV can take advantage of Televisa’s solid foothold in Mexican broadcast, radio and print media to promote and expand content.

For Televisa, it’s a chance to revitalize its struggling licensing arm with popular brands such as “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Rugrats.”

“This is a sign of mutual confidence between the two companies,” said Jose Baston, Televisa’s VP for television operations, at a Wednesday press conference.

MTV’s senior VP for distribution, Pierluigi Gazzolo, echoed the sentiment, saying it makes for a bigger message and a better synergy.

This is MTV’s first agreement with another media company — and as a content producer, possible rival — in Latin America, although it has similar arrangements elsewhere in the world.

The two nets have had a business relationship for a decade, with Televisa distributing MTV content on its cable and satellite platforms, and broadcasting Nickelodeon on open air. The deal brings the Mexican net a piece of the lucrative licensing arm for the first time.

Later this month, “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie” will bow in Mexico, and the terms of this deal call for crossover promotion of the movie, including a one-off magazine tie-in.

MTV uses a different Mexican publisher to produce Nickelodeon magazine, but which will no longer be published.

In addition, the two executives said, deal opens the possibility of other joint ventures in the future, from cellular phone products like branded instant messages to licensing arrangements involving other MTV properties and even to joint programming deals.

The nets declined to disclose financial terms.

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