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Commission approves Univision transfer

On March 16, The FCC approved the transfer of control of Univision Communications, the largest Spanish-language broadcaster in the United States, to Broadcasting Media Partners.

The approval transfers control over 114 full-power TV and radio licenses to the partnership made up of five private equity firms. The deal, valued at more than $12 billion, made Univision a privately held company. It is not longer listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Univision also resolved pending license renewal proceedings for allegedly failing to comply with children's programming requirements by entering into a $24 million Consent Decree with the commission.

The proceedings involved license renewals for WQHS-TV in Cleveland, OH, and KDTV in San Francisco. Two groups argued in those proceedings that Univision stations did not meet the educational and informational needs of children when it relied on Spanish-language telenovelas to meet its core programming requirements for children.

The five private equity firms making up Broadcasting Media Partners include Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, TPG, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Saban Capital Group.

Commenting on the approval, FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein expressed his hope that the transfer "will mark market the beginning of an enhanced commitment by Univision's new management to better serve the public interest and needs" of Hispanic Americans.

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