Univision renews Frontier deal for networks and local stations

Frontier Communications (Frontier Communications)
The Univision networks and stations will be carried on Frontier’s Vantage and Fios footprints, which cross California, Texas and Florida.

Univision and Frontier have successfully renewed a distribution agreement for Univision TV channels and local stations. The deal covers Univision’s entire portfolio, which includes Univision Network, UniMás, Galavisión, Univision Deportes Network, El Rey Network, FOROtv, TLNovelas, Telehit, Bandamax, De Pelicula and De Pelicula Clasico.

The Univision networks and stations will be carried on Frontier’s Vantage and Fios footprints, which cross California, Texas and Florida—three key regions for reaching Hispanic viewers with Spanish-language content. Frontier has less than 1 million pay TV subscribers across 28 states.

Univision has had a bit of a rocky year. The broadcaster suffered revenue declines amid linear TV ratings dips. In its third-quarter earnings report, the company reported revenues were down 4% year over year while advertising fell 18%.

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Meanwhile, Univision has faced increased pressure from its chief rival, NBCUniversal-owned Telemundo. Telemundo has been gaining steadily on Univision in terms of viewership over the past five years, and proclaimed itself to be the top broadcaster for Spanish-speaking communities earlier this year after a summer of ratings hits.

The ratings war between the two broadcasters hasn’t made life easy for Univision. In October, Univision and Verizon held a troubled retrans negotiation that resulted in Verizon pulling all Univision networks from its Fios service. Verizon claimed Univision was asking Verizon to pay double its current licensing fees and pointed to the broadcaster's drop in viewership: “We believe the appeal for Univision’s programming is waning given their reported declining viewership,” the company said in a statement.

Last year, Univision announced a round of layoffs following wider reorganization efforts aimed at strengthening the broadcaster’s digital distribution strategies.

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