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Televisa Sues Univision to Broadcast Via Web in U.S.

Grupo Televisa SA, the world's largest Spanish-language broadcaster, sued Univision Communications Inc. in Los Angeles Superior Court for the right to distribute its programming in the U.S. over the Internet.

Mexico City-based Televisa is seeking a declaratory judgment on whether it can broadcast after Dec. 19 the same content it provides to Univision under an agreement, Televisa said in an e-mailed statement today. Univision, based in Los Angeles, is the largest Spanish-language broadcaster in the U.S.

Univision spokeswoman Stephanie Pillersdorf couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Alfonso de Angoitia, a Televisa vice president, said in a conference call yesterday that Televisa should be able to broadcast programming, including the Mexican soap operas it provides to Univision, in the U.S. over the Internet once its stake in Univision drops below 13.5 million shares. De Angoitia headed a team that failed to win a bid to buy Univision.

Under a program licensing agreement that expires in 2017, Televisa provides most of Univision's programming, including popular prime-time soap operas called telenovelas.

Should Televisa's stake in Univision fall below 13.5 million shares, it would no longer be bound by a participation agreement that requires the company to invite Univision into any new businesses it creates in the U.S., de Angoitia said yesterday.

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