Robert Rodriguez’s Univision and Cable Net El Rey split as Spanish-language media company reports lower third quarter revenue

Univision Communications, Inc. releases El Rey Network. The Spanish-language media company left its minority position in the English-language entertainment cable network and production studio founded by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and FactoryMade Ventures, after a 7-year partnership.


This decision makes El Rey 100% independent property. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“This is an important and significant milestone for El Rey, and we are delighted to have full ownership of our brand,” said Robert Rodriguez, President of El Rey.

Rodriguez partnered with Univision in May 2013 and launched El Rey in December of that year, aiming to be the first 24-hour Latin American entertainment network with a mix of original and second-run programming. At the time, Univision network president César Conde (currently president of the NBCUniversal News Group) was looking to expand its reach among bilingual Hispanic millennials, expanding programming with a second English-language network, as well as their cable network. unsuccessful. Fusion, launched in October 2013.

“With the support and guidance of Univision, El Rey was able to accomplish more than we ever imagined and I am confident that with this strong foundation, we will continue to successfully serve one of the most important audiences. and the most influential. ”

Univision will not be completely out of the question in the future. It will continue to provide sales and distribution services to El Rey.

Univision, which has regained its position as the top-rated Spanish-speaking network, has struggled financially during the pandemic. The company today released its third quarter 2020 results, which showed an 8% drop in revenue to $ 627.6 million from $ 681.4 million, but also reported that since the start of the year, it has reduced net debt by $ 218.8 million.

“Univision delivered solid continued operational and financial improvement as our strong ratings continued into the third quarter of 2020 and saw prime-time audience growth year-over-year. among adults aged 18 to 49, while the major English-language broadcast networks and our closest Spanish-language competitor network reported audience declines, ”said Vince Sadusky, CEO of Univision. “Despite the lingering uncertainties of COVID-19, advertising has improved significantly from the second quarter, including record political advertising on our platforms … I could not be prouder of all our team has accomplished . ”

The company says it is on track to complete its transaction with ForgeLight and Searchlight Capital Partners later this year, which will give the new group of investors a controlling stake in Univision. It will also bring new leaders on board. Wade Davis is expected to become CEO of Univision.

“We can’t wait to see what El Rey will undoubtedly accomplish in the future,” said Sandusky. “For Univision, we remain focused on the early closing of our transaction with ForgeLight and Searchlight and we are excited about everything to come.”


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