No. 19

Sony Buys Telemundo, Moves It to L.A.

It's been reported that Miami dominates the Spanish-language entertainment industry, but you would have a hard time proving it now that both Spanish TV networks are based in L.A.

With an eye on the fast-growing Latino market, Sony Corp. and Liberty Media completed in August their $539 million purchase of Telemundo Group, the nation's No. 2 Spanish-language network. A few months later, Telemundo's headquarters was moved to L.A. from Miami.

The purchase represents Sony's introduction to the broadcast network market at a time when Spanish-language TV is booming. Telemundo's chief rival, Century City-based Univision, entered the fall season as the fifth-largest network in the country and the No. 1 Spanish-language network. Sony executives believe the market for Spanish TV will continue to grow, and predict that money-losing Telemundo will be in the black within four years.

In September, Telemundo began its new season with a dramatically altered line-up, moving from its traditional fare of prime-time soap operas. So far, the results have been discouraging, but not unexpected. The network's ratings have fallen close to 3 percent since the season began, but Telemundo President and CEO Peter Tortorici said such activity can be expected after any kind of brand change.

Karen Teitelman

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