Telemundo Gets Platform for Programming in Mexico

Deal With Televisa Lets Network Export Shows Rather Than Vice Versa

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NEW YORK ( -- This week three Telemundo telenovelas start airing in Mexico, an unusual twist in an industry that usually exports novelas from Mexico's Grupo Televisa to the U.S.
Catch it in Mexico: Telemundo's 'Victoria'
Catch it in Mexico: Telemundo's 'Victoria'
In a strategic agreement starting this month, NBC Universal-owned Telemundo will supply more than 1,000 hours of programming a year for one of Televisa's TV channels in Mexico, and provide entertainment and news for a Telemundo-branded pay TV channel Televisa will distribute beginning in September.

The deal is a rare opportunity for another broadcaster to enter a market where only dominant Televisa and rival Azteca have been allowed to build networks. Next, they plan to distribute Telemundo content via Televisa in Mexico through the internet and mobile phones.

"This will [also] influence our U.S. growth because its creates greater awareness of our product in Mexico," said Telemundo President Don Browne.

Rival Univision has long benefited from Mexican immigrants' familiarity with the Televisa programming it airs and the buzz generated by friends and family watching the same novela on both sides of the border.

"Our focus can only be international; we can't do anything with Televisa here," Mr. Browne said.

That's because Televisa is locked into an acrimonious long-term deal to sell its programming to Univision in the U.S. until 2017. The two broadcasters go to trial in Los Angeles this month in Televisa's most determined attempt yet to get out of the contract, depriving Univision of 40% of its non-repeat broadcast lineup, according to a Univision court filing.
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