NBC Hooks Telemundo

NBC has agreed to buy Telemundo Communications Group Inc., the nation’s No. 2 Spanish-language broadcaster, for $1.98 billion from Sony, Liberty Media and a consortium of other investors.

The cash and stock deal for 100 percent of the Hialeah, Fla.-based company is NBC’s largest acquisition and includes the assumption of $700 million in debt.

NBC outbid media rival Viacom to win Telemundo, which reaches 6.8 million homes but trails Univision.

“The vibrant Hispanic market accounts for a significant and growing share of the nation’s economy and we are eager to draw on Telemundo’s expertise to better serve this important audience,” said Bob Wright, chairman and CEO of NBC and vice chairman of parent company General Electric. He called the deal “a clear sign of our commitment to both over-the-air broadcasting and cable programming networks.”

Telemundo’s broadcast assets include a network seen in 86 markets reaching 88 percent of U.S. Hispanic TV households; 10 fully-powered stations in major markets including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and Denver; and 40 affiliates. On cable it owns Mun2, targeting younger Hispanic viewers, and Telemundo Internacional, which combines news and reality programming.

from Mediaweek.com