Mexico's Televisa in deal to distribute NBC, Telemundo content

The logo of broadcaster Televisa is seen at a billboard in Mexico City April 29, 2014. REUTERS/Tomas Bravo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican broadcaster Televisa said on Wednesday it had signed content distribution deals with NBCUniversal and its Spanish-language unit Telemundo to expand its selection of films and series, boosting its recently launched streaming video service.

Televisa said the accord with NBCUniversal International Distribution included expanding Televisa’s existing contract for free-to-air television, as well as content for its streaming video service, blim, which competes with rivals such as Netflix .

The content for blim, which launched in March, would include films and series, the company said in a statement.

“The game is content,” Bruce Boren, vice president of Televisa Networks and who oversees blim, said in an interview.

Boren said it was too early to say what sort of market share blim could secure, but said he had been “positively surprised” by the performance of its new content.

In 12 to 18 months, he said, the company would have a better sense of how it could compete in the market against the likes of Netflix, which he called “the old big player.”

Future deals for blim content would seek to ensure that it gave Televisa “all rights for all platforms at least for a substantial period of time,” Boren added.

The Telemundo deal is for blim only and covers series such as telenovela “El Senor de los Cielos” (“The Lord of the Skies”), for which it had exclusive subscription video-on-demand rights in Latin America for the fourth season, Televisa said.

The Mexican company said the deals for Mexico and Latin America were for a “number of years,” though Boren said Televisa was not at liberty to say for how many.

Reporting by Mexico City Newsroom; Editing by Alan Crosby and Leslie Adler