All of the melodrama involving Grupo Televisa
But let's not pretend that investors aren't keenly focused on the goings-on surrounding Televisa and Univision. This is a maelstrom that any true hardcore lover of telenovelas can appreciate.
First, this was an exceptional quarter for Televisa. But then, you'd hope that a quarter that included the premier world event in soccer and a bitterly contested presidential election would be strong for Mexico's largest media company. Sales jumped almost 21% this quarter, operating income was up about 36%, and EBITDA was up about 33%. Underlying those numbers are details such as the better-than-17% growth in subscribers for both the company's satellite TV and cable TV services.
As it seems to stand now, Televisa wants to sell its ownership stake in Univision. But then maybe it wants to consider an 11th-hour bid to buy Univision again. Or maybe it wants to maintain its ownership stake within a successful group of bidders. The company appears to be considering all of these options, though they seem to be mutually exclusive.
What's more, litigation is still afoot. Televisa wants a judge to affirm that it would have the right to distribute its programming content over the Internet in the U.S. after mid-December, when a provision barring the airing of its content online expires. Remember, Univision relies on Televisa considerably for programming. And let's not forget that Televisa is also still looking to get out of a long-term program-licensing agreement through which it provides that content to Univision -- and makes only a small part of its earnings.
Confused yet? Well, look at it this way -- Televisa seems to be pursuing every possible avenue to secure the best footing for itself, whatever the future of Univision. And while it may all be confusing, I'd argue that this is exactly what Televisa execs should be doing. They owe it to their shareholders to get the best deal possible for them -- not necessarily the simplest.
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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).