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Univision fights to save spot waiver

With Federal Communications Commission approval of its merger with Hispanic
Broadcasting Corp. believed to be only hours away, Univision Communications Inc. petitioned the agency not
to condition that merger on the elimination of its permanent waiver of the FCC's
network-representation rule -- Univision reps Entravision Communications Corp. TV stations.

The rule prevents a network from repping national ad sales for affiliates,
but it was waived for Spanish-language networks including Univision and rival

Saying "it now appears" that removing the waiver was one of the conditions
suggested by critics of the merger, Univision said it was an "unsupportable
condition" that could make the merger "economically unsound."

Univision argued that the waiver helps to boost sales in smaller markets
"ignored by national spot advertisers," and that yanking it would provide "no
ready substitute" and would force it to breach contracts.