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Univision prevails against Televisa in Internet trial

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The Spanish-language broadcaster Univision has scored a major victory in its long-running battle to stop the producer of its most popular programs, Grupo Televisa, from streaming its shows online.

U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez ruled that Univision’s 1992 programming agreement with Televisa prevented the Mexican programming powerhouse from transmitting its shows to U.S. audiences via the Internet. Televisa had argued that the 25-year deal with Univision covered television transmissions but not the Web.

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But the judge sided with Univision and found that the programming agreement ‘bars Televisa from sending programs to the United States by any means, including the Internet.’

Televisa’s attorneys and executives were not immediately available for comment. Univision said it was pleased with the ruling and was exploring its own legal rights to provide the programs over the Internet.

Of course, even though Televisa might not be able to stream its content in the U.S., that’s not stopping rogue pirates. Copies of Televisa’s blockbuster soaps have generated large audiences on such video websites as YouTube.

-- Meg James


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