NBC and Telemundo Communications Group Inc. have weighed in against the proposed merger of Univision Communications Inc. and
Hispanic Broadcasting Corp., at least as currently structured.
According to an NBC source, in a meeting with Federal Communications Commission members Kevin Martin,
Kathleen Abernathy and Michael Copps, as well as Media Burea chief Ken Ferree, a group
led by Telemundo Station Group president Ibra Morales said the companies do not
support the merger and "will be seeking some conditions."
While NBC did not specify any conditions, a source said that if the FCC approves the deal, NBC would like to see it limit the
ability of Univision to do joint sales deals between their radio and television
In addition, while the FCC has said that the Hispanic market is not a
separate entity, NBC and Telemundo argued that for the purposes of this merger, the
FCC should treat it as separate from the general-language market, pointing to
not only language, but age, education, household size and viewing habits as
distinguishing it from the general market.
Treating it separately would raise the bar for the deal considerably, given
that, by some estimates, a combined HBC/Univision would control as much as 70%
of Spanish-language media in the country's 10 largest Hispanic markets (when
publishing, Internet and cable are included).
An FCC decision on the merger, which has already passed Justice Department
muster, is expected soon, perhaps as early as next week.