Newly unveiled Televisa-Univision is heading worldwide to beat out Spanish-language pay TV rivals in what top executives see as a largely untapped global market beyond the U.S. and Mexico.
“I feel confident we have the assets and expertise to set us up with a huge competitive advantage to attack the last meaningful open lane in the world in streaming video,” Univision CEO Wade Davis told analysts a day after unveiling the transaction to merge the two Spanish-language media giants.
The deal, set to close later this year, will see Mexico’s Televisa and Univision combine media, production and content into a new company to be called Televisa-Univision, with Davis becoming CEO of the new entity.
He told analysts that launching a global streaming platform was a “key strategic rationale” for the transaction. With streaming competition in the U.S. market escalating and Hollywood studios and streamers battling for viewer eyeballs, Univision will strike out into international markets on the strength of its merger with content-rich Televisa.
“While the streaming marketplace is becoming more cluttered and competitive, we believe that the Spanish language streaming market is underserved, and the last significant lane of streaming opportunity,” Davis reiterated.
Grupo Televisa’s assets in Mexico include the Blim TV SVOD service, which anticipates an upcoming ad-supported streaming platform launch, while Univision recently launched its AVOD platform PrendeTV.
“We have quite a powerful nascent portfolio of digital properties. Over the course of this year, they will be harmonized into one global platform under one brand. We will put all of our energy behind that global brand into something we’ll announce in the coming months,” Davis said.
Televisa co-CEO Alfonso de Angoitia, who will become executive chairman of the board for Televisa-Univision, added the merger would “rapidly accelerate our streaming strategy, enabling us to better reach consumers around the world.” And Angoitia anticipated a ramp-up in new original content production, much of it taking place in Mexico, to tap into new international audiences.
Post-merger, Televisa will own around 45 percent of the new company, and Porchlight Equity and current Univision investor ForgeLight LLC will hold around a 38 percent stake, while Liberty Global, Google, Softbank and The Raine Group through a new $1 billion Series C preferred equity investment will own the remaining 17 percent stake.
Davis was also asked whether Televisa-Univision would see U.S. market cannibalization as it introduced a new streaming platform that displaced its existing products offered to U.S. Hispanic audiences.
“The OTT product from a content standpoint will be non-overlapping with the channels content that we sell to our MVPD distributors, which we think is a very important point around enhancing the overall value proposition for our audiences,” he told analysts.