Univision Scores Soccer's El Tri

In a striking deal, Univision has grabbed rights to Mexican national soccer team games from rival Telemundo. The deal comes as the team could gain popularity from a good showing in the upcoming World Cup.

Then again, El Tri, as the team is known, has never lacked for supporters with its passionate fan base both at home and among Hispanics in the U.S.

After a decade at Telemundo, Univision now has Spanish-language TV and digital rights, which include games leading up to the 2014 World Cup. Mexico-U.S. battles in World Cup qualifying can bring potent ratings.

While Univision has spent liberally to acquire World Cup rights, Telemundo made a strong play in soccer with El Tri. Last year, it launched a Web site largely devoted to the team to highlight its coverage.

Univision also carries Major League Soccer games. Mexican team Chivas is popular in the U.S., and Telemundo signed a five-year deal to carry its games in 2008.



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