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Hablas Espanol? CBS and Disney dust off their phrase books

Both Disney and CBS are dating Univision are dating again.

Neither was thought to be so interested in swallowing such as large pescado, and Mexico’s Televisa was thought to be the leading candidate. univision_logo.gif

The New York Times today notes that Viacom’s Les Moonves has been quite the dissembling cub:

“The latest negotiations appear to demonstrate that there may be more interest in Univision than some rivals have so far let on. Just yesterday, the chief executive of CBS, Leslie Moonves, told investors on an earnings conference call that ‘we’re not looking for an acquisition of that size.’”

Which is arguably still true – but only if you consider parse that to mean “at the price Univision is asking.” No wonder he and Clinton are buddies.

Anyway, it makes sense: What’s fascinating to us is that Televisa is interested at all: In buying Univision, Televisa wouldn’t so much be competeing against wimpy Spanish networks like Telemundo. Univision’s execs no longer think other Spanish-language networks are its competition: They’re competeing for bilingual Spanglish speakers, and Televisa would need to compete against “Desperate Housewives” and it’s not clear they could do that with just “Sabado Gigante,” if you know what I mean.

The chief impediment to CBS – or any gringo buyer – would seem to be that despite it’s hugely dominant market share (80% or so of Spanish viewers) Univision still suffers from a disporportinately low share of Madison Avenue’s dinero.

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