Spanish language media company Univision Communications said on Friday a U.S. district court ruled in its favor in an Internet rights litigation case with rival Grupo Televisa.
Los Angeles Federal Court Judge Philip Gutierrez's ruling prohibits Televisa from broadcasting TV programs over the Web in the United States that it has already licensed to Univision.
The lawsuit had centered on how to interpret a clause in a 1992 program license agreement that originally dealt with the spillover of Televisa's broadcast signal across the U.S.-Mexico border into Univision's licensed territory.
Televisa executives had argued that the 1992 contract did not contemplate Internet distribution, and subsequent amendments and technological advances allow it to transmit programing via satellite into the U.S. as long as it originates in Mexico.
Univision said it is exploring its legal options in order to provide such content to its own audience over the Internet in the U.S. in the future.
Both Univision and Televisa have conceded that potential advertising revenue from Internet streaming of programs is not significant at this point.
However a PriceWaterhouseCoopers study shows that Internet advertising is expected to grow by double-digit percentages over the next four years to about $40 billion in U.S. markets.
(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; editing by Carol Bishopric)