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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Univision, one of the two major Spanish-language broadcasters in the U.S., is in the early stages of exploring a sale, the company announced last week following a Wall Street Journal report.

Details: It's looking for a strategic partner to help it scale so that it can be more competitive on advertising and distribution deals. It's looking to sell now because sources say it's tied up the majority of its distribution agreements, and at this time, there is not one expiring soon.

Be smart: It's a buyer's market, as The Information's Jessica Toonkel points out. And there doesn't seem to be many buyers waving their hands at the last remaining independent broadcasting company, but it's still very early in the process.

Why it matters: It remains unclear what will be the long-term fate of Univision without a strategic buyer. But the Hispanic population is the fastest-growing minority population in the U.S., so one would hope that the market can support at least two Hispanic broadcasting companies.

Meanwhile, Univision's biggest competitor, Telemundo, seems to be reaping the benefits from its 2011 acquisition by NBCUniversal.

  • As The New York Times' Michael Grynbaum notes, the company has focused on building its news programming, and has seen success in the key advertising demo for weekday primetime viewership over the past three seasons. It's also invested heavily in live sports coverage, spending big bucks to poach Univision's World Cup rights.
  • Yes, but: Univision still tops in overall primetime ratings. The company closed the 2018-2019 broadcast season as the top Spanish-language network in primetime for the 27th consecutive season.

Our thought bubble: For Univision, and for all network TV companies, one difficult aspect of its sales pitch will be its renewed focus on live, as cable operators get pickier about carrying expensive channels.

  • The company sold its English-language digital assets, the Gizmodo Media Group, in April to focus on live TV, but it's still had some distribution hiccups.
  • Last year, the company experienced a months-long TV "blackout," from Dish, which impacted viewership. Eventually, Dish and Univision were able to strike a deal, even after Dish CEO Charlie Ergen said the blackout would be "probably permanent."

What's next: Univision's next big hurdle will be ensuring that it can strike distribution deals with all of the major cable carriers, so as not to experience similar blackout headaches as it did in 2018.

Go deeper: Spanish-language media is having a local news boom

Go deeper

Updated 9 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Biden has arrived at the White House and he will sign executive orders and other presidential actions.

37 mins ago - Podcasts

Podcast: After the Biden inaugural

Joe Biden was sworn in today as America's 46th president in an inauguration unlike any other in modern history.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into the speech, the atmosphere and what it all tells us about the incoming administration, with Axios political reporters Hans Nichols and Alexi McCammond.

Biden embarks on a consequential presidency

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump tried everything to delegitimize the rival who vanquished him. In reality, he's set Joe Biden on course to be a far more consequential U.S. president than he might otherwise have become.

The big picture: President Biden now confronts not just a pandemic, but massive political divisions and an assault on truth — and the aftermath of the assault on the Capitol two weeks ago that threatened democracy itself.

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