Exclusive: Univision to provide content for DirecTV online service by year end

Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:02pm EDT
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By Ronald Grover and Liana B. Baker

(Reuters) - Hispanic media giant Univision will be a major supplier of content when satellite operator DirecTV DTV.O launches an Internet-delivered service aimed at a Hispanic audience, according to two people with knowledge of the agreement.

Univision's content would be a crucial offering for DirecTV's online service, which is expected to launch later this year. It would also help the satellite operator to counter smaller rival Dish Network Corp DISH.O, which is creating a multichannel Internet TV service that would be a cheaper alternative to traditional cable and satellite services.

In addition to Univision, DirecTV is talking with other Spanish language media companies, according to the two people, who are not authorized to speak publicly.

The Hispanic service would be the first of a series of lower-priced niche online channels CEO Mike White has said the satellite provider would launch.

White had previously discussed the possibility of an Internet channel aimed at Latinos, but neither the timing nor the fact that Univision had agreed to provide content for the service had previously been revealed.

Both the multichannel Dish offering and the more targeted DirecTV service are aimed at potential subscribers for whom traditional satellite service is too expensive.

The lure of a Hispanic channel is the thriving Spanish-language market that is generally younger and more likely to bypass cable or satellite to go online for entertainment, said Macquarie Research analyst Amy Yong, who covers DirecTV.

"This would serve the millennials," she said.   Continued...

The headquarters building of U.S. satellite TV operator DirecTV is seen in Los Angeles, California in this May 18, 2014, file photo.  REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn/Files