Comcast Scores Univision Deportes Network Deal

Comcast and Univision have put a deal in the back of the distribution net for the U.S. Spanish-language media leader’s cable sports network.

Beginning in October, Comcast will make Univision Deportes Network available to a wide swath of its customer base through carriage on its Digital Preferred package and Xfinity Latino levels of service.

With the long-term contract, financial terms of which were not disclosed, Univision Deportes Network will add upward of 12 million Xfinity customers and boost its subscriber base past the 52 million mark. When the futbol-centric UDN bows next month on Comcast systems, the service, which kicked off in 2012, will have positions with all 10 of the nation’s top distributors.

A spokesman for Comcast, whose NBCUniversal programming arm’s Telemundo and mun2 are competitors to Univision’s varied services, said negotiations have been taking place over the past year and the patties finally reached terms that makes sense for its subscribers.

Comcast’s Hispanic distribution platform delivers more than 60 Latino networks in both Spanish and English to Xfinity TV customers. UDN will be available in standard-definition and Comcast’s largest Hispanic markets, which include New York, Miami, Houston, Chicago, San Francisco, Sacramento, Albuquerque, Fresno, Denver and El Paso, will begin receiving the channel in high-definition by year-end.

Although the launch comes after the 2014 World Cup – UDN became Univision’s de facto service for the FIFA competition during the months of June and July – the sports service still serves up an array of futbol fare, topped by action from Mexico’s top circuit, Liga MX.

Additionally, UDN, which ranks as the top Spanish-language cable sports network in primetime and total-day, presents Mexican national soccer team matches, as well as action from Major League Soccer, the Copa MX and CONCACAF Champions League circuits. It also covers Formula 1 racing and boxing, while keeping tabs on the NFL, NBA and MLB.

“Univision Deportes Network offers terrific programming and will be a great addition to our growing lineup of networks for Hispanic customers,” said Marcien Jenckes, executive vice president, consumer services at Comcast Cable.  “Comcast is already the nation’s largest provider of Latino packages and we’re excited to add UDN’s wide range of sports programming for our Xfinity TV customers."

“We are pleased to expand the reach of UDN and our popular sports content through this deal with Comcast,” said Juan Carlos Rodriguez, president of sports, Univision Communications. “This partnership speaks to the growing influence of Hispanics and underscores Univision’s position as the gateway to a growing and increasingly influential consumer base.”