TelevisaUnivision, a new combined company created by Mexican broadcaster Televisa and U.S. broadcaster Univision, will launch its steaming platform, a new version of Vix (acquired in February last year by Univision) on March 31, a company executive said Wednesday.
A free ad-based version of Vix will be available next month, while a subscription-based product will launch in the second half of the year, said Pierluigi Gazzolo, president and chief transformation officer of TelevisaUnivision, in a virtual presentation.
The fusion of the two companies was announced in April last year. At the time, they said that the platform would be launched in the United States and Mexico before expanding elsewhere in Latin America and in Europe. Before being acquired, Vix was already available in Spanish-speaking countries since October 2019 and debuted in Brazil in August 2020, choosing Latin America as a focus market for its advertising-based video-on-demand (AVOD) service. In the third quarter of 2020, the Spanish version of Vix was available on 30 player systems, such as Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku, registering over 10 million downloads.
According to Televisa, less than 10% of the global population of 600 million Spanish speakers uses digital video platforms, versus nearly 70% of the English language market.
The transaction, which was completed in January this year, was partially financed by a $1 billion Series C led by the SoftBank Latin American Fund, with participation from ForgeLight, Google, and The Raine Group.
According to TelevisaUnivision, the combined business will potentially reach 100 million Spanish speakers a day across TV, digital, and audio, being the largest Spanish-language content library in the world.
Televisa’s four broadcast channels, 27 pay-TV channels, Videocine movie studio, Blim TV subscription video-on-demand service, and the Televisa trademark, will be combined with Univision’s assets in the U.S., which include the Univision and UniMás broadcast networks, nine Spanish-language cable networks, 59 television stations and 57 radio stations in major U.S. Hispanic markets, and the PrendeTV AVOD platform.
In a letter to Televisa shareholders to communicate the completion of the deal, TelevisaUnivision said its transformation includes “developing a massive pipeline of original content” for its global streaming, as well as “new distribution partnerships.”
Creative partnerships with Eugenio Derbez, Selena Gomez, Maria Dueñas, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Santiago Limón were among the first announced.
More about the new platform is likely to be disclosed on February 24, when Televisa is expected to issue its fourth quarter and full-year 2021 results.