Univision, Televisa Expand Production, Distribution Ties

Univision Holdings and Grupo Televisa said they have expanded their relationship by unifying their content development and production efforts.

Isaac Lee—who currently serves as the chief news, entertainment & digital officer for Univision and CEO of Univision’s Fusion—will assume the role of chief content officer of both Univision and Televisa, effective immediately. His new role unifies the leadership and strategic direction of the production of content for consumers in the United States and Mexico.

Univision's dominant ratings among Hispanic consumers in the U.S. has crumbled as viewers have turned away from the telenovelas produced by Televisa, which are seen by some media buyers as old-fashioned.

The decline has helped close the gap between Univision and Telemundo, which is owned by Comcast.

Univision and Televisa say they will benefit from a single, integrated focus on the Hispanic audience in the U.S. and the domestic Mexican audience. They will also benefit from cost synergies.

“I look at Isaac Lee as the ideal leader of our joint content efforts. With his creative mind and keen understanding of the rapidly changing tastes of young audiences, Univision and Televisa are best positioned to continue to evolve our aligned content offerings,” said Randy Falco, CEO of Univision.

Lee will report to both Falco and to Emilio Azcarraga Jean, president of Televisa.

Both companies’ news operations will remain separate.

“By unifying our production of content for distribution on multiple platforms in Mexico and the United States, we will take advantage of the unique opportunity that Televisa and Univision have to compete more effectively in an increasingly complex and fragmented industry. I welcome Isaac, whom I trust will maximize the value and success of our content, which we have been producing for over 60 years,” said Azcarraga Jean.

Earlier this month, Televisa got the OK from the U.S. government to acquire a larger stake in Univision.

The terms of the programming license agreement under which Univision pays Televisa to provide programming remains unchanged.

Televisa announced that José Bastón Patiño will assume the role of president of Televisa International, reporting directly to Azcarraga Jean. Bastón Patiño will be responsible for the expansion of Televisa beyond Mexico and the United States and will remain a member of the board of directors of Televisa.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.