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Univision, Telemundo, and the Rise of Spanish-Language Television in the United States$
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Craig Allen

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781683401643

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683401643.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Final Fight

Final Fight

(p.214) 9 Final Fight
Univision, Telemundo, and the Rise of Spanish-Language Television in the United States

Craig Allen

University Press of Florida

Period: 2000–2012. The millennium brings predictions of vast new TV channels for a rapidly growing Latino population. Yet Perenchio’s deal for a second network crushes new entrants. Telemundo finally rises under chief James McNamara. At a $2.7 billion price, Sony sells Telemundo to NBC. The dispute between Perenchio and Azcárraga Jean over the PLA intensifies and erupts into lawsuits. Fighting expands when Azcárraga Jean claims Televisa’s right to succeed Perenchio as owner of Univision but Perenchio departs by selling to Haim Saban. A courtroom showdown ends with a surprise settlement but with Univision still uncertain of programs after the PLA expires in 2017. At Telemundo, NBC’s ownership is fortuitous. From NBC’s infusion of cash, McNamara and successor Don Browne introduce “coproduction” agreements with foreign studios. Telemundo becomes the first major U.S. producer of Spanish-language programs. Univision takes a more historic stride. Resolving their dispute, Univision and Televisa sign an unprecedented “joint operating agreement.” Univision is promised permanent Televisa programming. Televisa claims enlarged control of Univision. The JOA is the first definitive agreement between the parties since Telesistema Méxicano founded SIN in 1961. Yet after 50 years, little in Spanish-language television has changed. Univision still is dominant among Latinos. Its main programs, novelas, are the same. The influence and grip of the Azcárragas remain.

Keywords:   James McNamara, Don Browne, NBC, Telemundo, Univision

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