FCC approves challenged Texas TV transaction


A pair of television stations in the top two Texas media markets, KNWS-TV Houston and KLDT-TV Dallas-Ft. Worth, will proceed forward, now that a petition to deny has itself been denied by the FCC. Una Vez Mas Texas Holdings LLC will get the two stations for $24.8M according to terms of a contract filed with the FCC late in 2009.

The seller in a bankruptcy proceeding was Johnson Broadcasting Inc. Brokerage firm Kalil and Co. was involved in the arrangements. Kalil’s Frank Higney noted that the price was bid up at auction from a $10M starting point, with $14.88M allocated to KWWN and $9.92M allocated to KLDT.

The transaction was challenged by rival Hispanic broadcast group SBS, which charged that Mexican interests had too much involvement in Una Vez Mas’ financing and in its programming going forward.

Grupo Elektra S.A is putting up 97% of the financing, and will providing programming from midnight to 11AM and during two other hours during the day via its Azteca America Network.

The FCC agreed that there were grounds to give the transaction extra scrutiny due to the involvement of foreign-owned interests, but at the end of the day agreed with Una Vez Mas that there was a genuine arm’s-length distance between the two parties.

The FCC noted that Elecktra’s interest going forward in Una Vaz Mas is within legal bounds, and there is no evidence to suggest it is exercising control over the American company. Further, there’s nothing particularly unusual about an affiliation agreement, and Una will be providing its own programming or using other suppliers for much of the day and will be handling local sales on its own. The deal was therefore approved over the SBS objection.

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