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TelevisaUnivision to Buy Streaming Service Pantaya to Bulk Up ViX+

Courtesy of Hemisphere Media

TelevisaUnivision reached a deal with Hemisphere Media Group to acquire Pantaya, a U.S. streaming platform for Spanish-language movies and TV series, snapping up the rival streamer to bolster the ViX service.

The companies didn’t disclose a value for the Pantaya deal. Last year, Hemisphere Media bought out the remaining 75% stake of Pantaya it didn’t own from Lionsgate for about $124 million in cash; Pantaya was launched in 2017 as a joint venture of Lionsgate and Hemisphere.

The pact will add Pantaya’s content, subscribers and management team to TelevisaUnivision’s own subscription-streaming platform, ViX+, which is expected to launch in the second half of 2022. In April, TelevisaUnivision launched ad-supported VOD service ViX, which combined Univision’s PrendeTV and Televisa’s Blim TV.

The deal for Pantaya comprises cash and includes the transfer of some of TelevisaUnivision’s Puerto Rican radio stations, including WKAQ-AM and KQ105-FM, to Hemisphere (which already owns Puerto Rico’s WAPA broadcast network). The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions including U.S. regulatory approvals.

“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,” TelevisaUnivision president and chief transformation officer Pierluigi Gazzolo said in announcing the pact.

Hemisphere CEO Alan Sokol commented: “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.”

Pantaya offers a selection of current and library titles from the U.S. and Latin America, including some first-run exclusive films available on the same day they debut theatrically in Latin America. Originals include “Señorita 89,” “Mi Tío,” “Express” and “El Juego de las Llaves,” and the movie lineup includes “¡Qué despadre!”, “Nosotros los nobles,” “Sentimental” and “La Vida de los Reyes.”

Hemisphere said Pantaya had about 900,000 subscribers as of April 2021. The service is regularly priced at $5.99/month.

TelevisaUnivision was formed through the merger of Televisa and Univision, which closed in January. The new company is a Spanish-language media and content powerhouse that reaches some100 million Spanish speakers across the U.S. and Mexico. TelevisaUnivision combined Univision and UniMás’ broadcast networks, nine Spanish-language cable networks, TV stations, radio stations and streaming operations with Televisa’s four broadcast channels, 27 pay-TV channels, the Videocine movie studio, and Blim SVOD platform.

Variety's Todd Spangler contributed to this post.

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