Chivas Signs on with Univision for U.S. TV Rights for One More Year

What: Juan Carlos Rodríguez, president at Univision Deportes, confirmed during Sport Innovation Summit (SiS) Mexico 2017 that the LigaMX team, Las Chivas from Guadalajara has signed one more year of TV rights with the Hispanic-focused U.S. broadcaster.
Why it matters: In Mexico, Chivas exclusively broadcasts all its games and content through its own OTT channel. This  fact cast doubt on whether Chivas would  renew its rights for the U.S. with Univision.

In 2013 Chivas signed a five-year agreement with Univision for its exclusive broadcasting rights in the U.S., for US $80 million. But when Jorge Vergara announced last year that the team was leaving its 22-year relationship with Televisa (or any other TV broadcaster in Mexico) to only focus on using its own digital platform, speculations started building.

According to a Bloomberg article published on November 24th 2016, Chivas was planning “to part ways with U.S. broadcaster Univision Holdings Inc. when its contract [came] up in 2018.”

But it seems these plans have changed. Since its TV departure, Guadalajara’s team has had a hard time keeping fans connected through its online service. The platform keeps presenting technical failures and some fans find its $12-a-month fee too high and fans aren’t used to watching a local game on a computer.

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http://14575-presscdn-0-73.pagely.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Juan.jpg“It is a brilliant strategy,” said Juan Carlos Rodríguez, president at Univision Deportes, during his SiS Mexico 2017 session, yesterday. “But it isn’t the right timing.”

Such is the case,” he continued, “that we already renewed our contract with Chivas in the U.S. for one more year.

The digital world still needs the linear industry to survive, Rodríguez is expecting to also see some new negotiations between Chivas and TV broadcasters in Mexico soon, whether it is through cable or any other option. “They won’t have enough time to monetize this great idea they had.”

There will be changes in how traditional media works, an example of it is Univision’s recent deal with Facebook to broadcast LigaMX live-soccer games in English. But the challenge is to know for how long traditional media will be able to keep working how they do it now, “our business is to stop [alternatives] from working,” Rodríguez finalizes.


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Ximena Cassab @xcassab

Ximena is a Swiss-Mexican journalist based in Mexico City where she specialized in business, and travel topics. Graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), she has worked as an editor at the magazines Expansión , Aire and Accent, from Expansion Group. Currently she is working with different media in Spanish and English independently. She is a passionate traveler who does not miss the opportunity to see a new place in the world.

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