TelevisaUnivision Acquires Spanish-Language Streamer Pantaya
When Spanish-language broadcasters Televisa and Univision completed a $4.8 billion deal in February to create the world’s largest Spanish-language media and content company, the newly formed TelevisaUnivision made clear that streaming would be a priority. A few weeks later, the company announced that it would be turning existing ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) service ViX — a fairly recent Univision purchase — into the company’s streaming home before launching a premium subscription VOD (SVOD) platform ViX+ in addition.
Apparently, that wasn’t where the company’s streaming sights ended though, as on Monday, TelevisaUnivision announced that it had acquired competing Spanish-language streaming service Pantaya from Hempishere Media Group. The service’s subscribers, staff, and content will be folded into ViX+, which is expected to become available to customers worldwide in the back half of this year.
“The acquisition of Pantaya … is an exciting opportunity to build upon our strategic growth plan as we continue to redefine the global streaming landscape,” said TelevisaUnivision’s president and chief transformation officer Pierluigi Gazzolo. “We look forward to welcoming the Pantaya team, the existing subscribers, and having access to the thousands of hours of content assets which perfectly complement TelevisaUnivision’s prolific long-form content engine, industry-leading library, and extensive portfolio of IP and sports rights.”
After previously controlling one-quarter of the company, Hempishere purchased the remaining 75% of Pantaya from Lionsgate last year, meaning that the service has substantial access to the studio’s rich library of films. The addition of Pantaya is the latest move that TelevisaUnivision has made to bolster the offerings of their upcoming SVOD service. The company has already inked partnerships with Salma Hayek, Selena Gomez, and other stars to create and appear in programming on ViX+.
“Pantaya will flourish under TelevisaUnivision’s ownership,” said Hemisphere chief executive officer Alan Sokol. “Given the highly competitive multi-language SVOD streaming environment, Pantaya’s service is best positioned under an organization that can provide the resources and investment it needs to scale and grow.”
The news comes just a few days after mobile advertising and digital media company Adsmovil announced the launch of Nuestra.TV last week. The new dual-language AVOD service was “created to entertain, inform, and empower Hispanic audiences across cultural diversity, generations, languages, and devices.”
As part of its announcement, Nuestra.TV noted that Hispanics represent 62 million people in the U.S. and 22% of Hispanic TV homes have cut the cord within the last three years. The Spanish-speaking population, especially in the United States, has been underserved when it comes to the streaming wars, and it appears that multiple companies are finally making investments to remedy that mistake.