June 8, 2009, 12:00 AM

Spanish-language TV network Univision says ¡hola! to e-commerce

Delivery Agent, which operates e-commerce sites for such major English-language TV networks as ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, will host and manage the first-ever online store for Univision, the fifth-largest U.S. TV network.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Univision Communications Inc., operator of the major Spanish-language television network Univision, has announced plans to launch an e-commerce site selling items related to its shows in a deal with Delivery Agent Inc.

Delivery Agent also announced last week an expanded relationship with Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising to create a new e-commerce site, www.foxshop.com, that will sell products seen on or related to TV shows on the Fox network and sister network FX. The products will be available immediately after shows air on TV or online. Previously, Delivery Agent had been providing e-commerce services tied to some Fox shows and movies.

With the Univision deal, Delivery Agent links up with the fifth most-watched TV network, according to Nielsen Media Research, after CBS, Fox, NBC and ABC. Delivery Agent already operates e-commerce sites for ABC, CBS and NBC, selling such items as DVDs and T-shirts, at ABCtvstore.com, CBSstore.com and NBCuniversal.com.

“We are thrilled to partner with Delivery Agent, a first-class provider of e-commerce solutions,” says Ted Zagat, vice president of franchise development and strategic partnerships at Univision. “We look forward to building Univision’s first ever branded e-commerce platform which will enable us to deliver Univision-inspired products to our loyal audiences.”

Delivery Agent will host and manage the Univision.com online store, which is expected to go live in the fall. The site, which will be in Spanish, will heavily promote merchandise tied to the 2010 soccer World Cup tournament, says Mike Fitzsimmons, CEO of Delivery Agent. It will also enable loyal followers of Univision’s telenovelas, or soap operas, to buy merchandise seen on those shows.

“If you see a necklace in the show you’ll be able to purchase it through the store,” Fitzsimmons says. “They’re the fastest-growing television network in the U.S. and we believe an underserved audience from an e-commerce perspective. There are not a lot of great e-commerce sites targeting the U.S. Hispanic audience, and tying in with the content and reach of Univision and their incredibly loyal customer base we think is a pretty significant opportunity.” Univision averaged 3.4 million viewers during prime time for the last week in May, Nielsen says.

The Fox and Univision announcements are the latest in a string of TV-related deals announced by Delivery Agent. Discovery Communications, which operates the Discovery Channel and other cable networks, announced in March it was outsourcing its e-commerce operations to Delivery Agent. Discovery Channel Store Inc. is No. 191 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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