Expenses cut into Televisa Q2

Net income fell 8.6%

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican media giant Televisa said Thursday that is second-quarter net income fell 8.6% as an increase in expenses cut into profitability.

Televisa, the world's largest producer of Spanish-language programming, posted a quarterly net profit of 1.8 billion pesos ($179 million), down from about 2 billion pesos a year ago.

Net sales came in at 11.5 billion pesos, representing a 17% increase.

Televisa's cable TV and telecom division, which includes cablers Cablevision, Cablemas and long-distance service provider Bestel, saw a whopping 140% spike in sales as the companies drew a growing number of video, Internet and telephony clients.

Higher expenses, including costs related to a San Diego television station and legal fees for a long-running legal dispute against U.S. partner Univision, offset the growth in revenue.

Televisa is awaiting a key court date Oct. 14 as it seeks to terminate an long-term program license agreement with Univision for alleged breach of contract.

Several court dates have been postponed this year, leading some analysts to believe the two parties are looking to settle out of court.

The legal battle between the Spanish-language media titans has major implications for both companies. Over the years, Televisa's popular soaps have been a strong ratings draw for Univision. Should Televisa win the case, it may look to sell its programming elsewhere, or perhaps launch its own U.S. network.