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CBS, Time Warner linked with Univision takeover

CBS, Time Warner and Televisa are among “several” companies reported to have met with the owners of US Hispanic broadcast giant Univision Communications, which is said to be up for sale.

050208_1154_saban_173x136Univision is the market leader for US Hispanic broadcasting, and often delivers ratings that match its English-language network rivals.

However, a report in the Wall Street Journal said its owners, which include veteran media operator Haim Saban, are said to be looking to exit.

They have been meeting with potential suitors in recent weeks, the WSJ reported citing unnamed sources close to the company. Broadcast network CBS, media conglom Time Warner and Mexico’s Grupo Televisa, which supplies Univision with a large part of its content and already has a minority stake, were all said to have been approached.

Televisa would struggle to close a deal, as US media regulation states foreign ownership cannot pass 25%, though this can be bypassed on a case-by-case basis.

There was no suggestion the “preliminary” talks have lead anywhere, however. One WSJ source said a US$20 billion price tag was an issue.

Univision’s current ownership group acquired the company for US$13.7 billion in 2007.