Grupo Televisa has won a court ruling that could allow the Mexican broadcasting giant to move closer to ending its tumultuous relationship with Univision Communications Inc., the largest Spanish-language media company in the United States, the Los Angeles Times rerpots.
U.S. District Court Judge Philip S. Gutierrez in Los Angeles on Monday denied Univision's request to dismiss several claims made by Televisa in a 2-year-old lawsuit. The judge said there was enough evidence for a jury to decide whether Univision acted in "bad faith" when dealing with its partner from Mexico.
The lawsuit is a high-stakes gambit by Televisa to break a 1992 programming agreement that gives Univision exclusive use of Televisa's popular shows in the U.S. through 2017. Over the years, Univision has become a juggernaut in Spanish-language television in large part because of the enormous ratings produced by Televisa's telenovelas. The shows generate about 40% of Univision's revenue.
Televisa has long felt that the agreement is unfair and doesn't pay the Mexican company for the full value of its programming. If it prevails in the upcoming trial, Televisa could end the contract 10 years early and then sell its shows for a much higher price to Univision or a competitor such as NBC Universal's Telemundo, which has struggled in the shadows of Univision.
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