Setting a deal with the nation’s largest cable operator was crucial for Univision as it is expected to move ahead with an IPO later this year. Having a long-term pact with Comcast is key to persuading investors that the Spanish-language giant can count on a predictable source of affiliate fee revenue in the next few years.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The pact covers the 17 stations that Univision owns in markets served by Comcast.
“Univision’s renewal agreement with Comcast, one of the largest content distributors in the country, means that our young and influential viewers will continue to have access to our indispensable news, sports and entertainment content, on one of the most sophisticated and robust TV platforms in the market,” said Tonia O’Connor, Univision’s chief commercial officer and president of content distribution. “Univision has been partners with Comcast for decades and we look forward to continuing our mutual commitment to provide the best programs for multicultural consumers across the country.”
Univision like other broadcasters has had some tense negotiations in recent years with distributors on financial terms for retransmission consent deals. Last year Univision accused AT&T’s U-verse of “redlining” its Hispanic audience as the two companies tussled over carriage fees for its stations, although the sides eventually came to a deal.
Univision also last year filed a lawsuit against Charter Communications, the second-largest cable operator, in a dispute over retrans fees stemming from Charter’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable. Fox News has filed suit against Charter over the same dispute, which turns on the question of whether the enlarged Charter can assume the lower fee rate that Time Warner commanded under its previous carriage pacts or if the pre-merger Charter contracts should remain in force.