Televisa Raking in Univision Royalties

Quarterly royalties from Univision rose 63%.

Mexico City -- Televisa's latest earnings report shows that it pays for the Mexican broadcaster to play nice with its stateside partner Univision.

After numerous years of legal wrangling over programming royalty payments, the Spanish-language media titans extended a deal late last year that allows Televisa, Univision's main content supplier, to cash in on additional license fees that will generate an estimated $50 million this year.

Televisa on Monday said in its second-quarter earnings report that royalties from Univision spiked about 63% for the period, from $37 million to $60 million.

Yet despite considerable gains made from program exports, quarterly net earnings came in flat at 1.8 billion pesos ($154 million), nearly the same figure reported in the year-earlier period.

That's largely because sales at Televisa's core broadcast TV unit dropped about 6% after a group of companies owned by telecom magnate Carlos Slim, the world's richest man, announced earlier this year that it was pulling its advertising from the network because of rate hikes. Grupo Carso, the holding company controlled by Slim, claims Mexico's TV duopoly (Televisa and TV Azteca) is colluding to control ad prices.

The feuding between the nation's leading media and telecom oligarchs has been constant this year as they encroach on each other's turf. Televisa and TV Azteca have been ramping up bundled TV, Internet and phone services, cutting into Slim's profits, while Slim's dominant telco is looking to crack the TV market, but has been banned because of competition concerns. 

In the meantime, sales are rising in Televisa's pay TV and telecom divisions.