Univision, Televisa spar over telenovelas

Univision wants exclusive rights for Internet, satellite

Univision Communications Inc. argued before a federal judge Tuesday that Grupo Televisa does not have exclusive rights to distribute Televisa's popular telenovelas and other programs online and through satellite in the U.S.
 
Former Univision Chief Executive Jerrold Perenchio argued in a taped deposition that the agreement he signed did not give Televisa online broadcast rights to its programming.
 
He called the original 1992 contract between Univision, Televisa and Miami's Venevision International problematic from the beginning.
 
"The ink was barely dry before the fireworks began," he said in a 2008 videotaped deposition played in court Tuesday.
 
In January, Televisa, the dominant producer of Spanish-language programming, settled its 2005 lawsuit against Univision over unpaid advertising royalties. Univision agreed to give Televisa $600 million in advertising and $25 million in cash.
 
But the settlement did not resolve which company can stream Televisa's shows online and on cell phones in the U.S.
 
Televisa contends that the original agreement, which was amended in 1996 and 2001, does not give Univision the rights to online rebroadcast of full shows.
 
Testimony will continue the rest of the week and Judge Phillip S. Gutierrez will rule later this summer.
 
In June 2006, Perenchio sold Univision for $12.3 billion to a consortium led by Haim Saban. At the time, Televisa was an 11% owner of Univision.
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