TelevisaUnivision to buy streaming service Pantaya from Hemisphere Media

TelevisaUnivision plans to acquire U.S. Spanish-language movie and TV streaming platform Pantaya from Hemisphere Media Group, as it readies to launch a premium-tier SVOD service later this year.  

The deal, announced Monday, will see HMTV DT, a subsidiary of Hemisphere Media obtain TelevisaUnivision Puerto Rico radio assets including stations WKAQ AM and KQ105 FM as well as cash. Specific financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.  

TelevisaUnivision introduced a global ad-supported video on-demand (AVOD) service ViX on March 31 and plans to offer a global streaming platform ViX+, launching in the second half of 2022, which will be bolstered by Pantaya’s content, subscribers and team.

“The acquisition of Pantaya, which includes renowned content titles such as ‘Señorita 89’ and ‘A La Mala’, is an exciting opportunity to build upon our strategic growth plan as we continue to redefine the global streaming landscape,” said TelevisaUnivision president and Chief Transformation Officer Pierluigi Gazzolo, in a statement.

Gazzolo went on to say that access to thousands of hours of content on Pantaya complement’s TelevisaUnivision’s long-form content engine.

“Pantaya will flourish under TelevisaUnivision’s ownership. 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,” said Alan Sokol, CEO of Hemisphere.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2022.

Pantaya offers movies in Spanish, including current and classic titles from the U.S. and Latin America. It features first-run exclusive and original titles, including access to select movies that are available on the same day as they debut theatrically in Latin America. The service is available on Roku, Apple TV, Android and iOS and Chromecast.

Univision at the end of January closed its merger with Televisa’s content business, a $4.8 billion deal announced in 2021, creating the new TelevisaUnivision.  In the first quarter of 2022 consolidated pro forma revenue grew 2% year over year to around $1 billion. Advertising revenue was up 12% to $569 million while subscription and licensing revenue increased 14.3% to $407 million reflecting growth in both the U.S. and Mexico.

TelevisaUnivision CEO Wade Davis said that double digit revenue growth across ad sales and distribution “makes us very optimistic about the rest of the year.

“On March 31, 2022, we unveiled our streaming service, ViX, introducing our AVOD tier to tremendous excitement, and this is just the beginning. Our growth-oriented strategy is supported by ratings increasing 23% in the Univision network, the highest among all major U.S. networks,” Davis continued.

The company plans to hold a quarterly earnings call on May 11.