Tonia O’Connor
Title: EVP, Distribution Sales & Marketing, Univision
Last Year: Also Influential
Age: 40 (the last time I get to use that answer)
Education: Syracuse University

Why Her? As a company that caters to the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population, Univision decided to bypass must-carry this election season and negotiate cash for carriage deals. It’s the first time the company’s ever elected retransmission consent, and it brought aboard former Gemstar-TV Guide affiliate whiz O’Connor to accomplish the task. In addition to broadcast nets Univision and Telefutura, O’Connor is pushing for extensions of cable net Galavisión. She has a tough road ahead, with Time Warner Cable — and its large Hispanic footprint — claiming that it could show Univision’s national feed in markets if it can’t reach a retrans pact for local stations. With talk of Univision asking for $1/sub license fee, O’Connor could be on her way to making history — or infamy.

Proud Moment: Announcing that Univision will plunge into VOD in ’09, with plans to offer about 1K hours of programming, including ’10 World Cup matches.

Year Ahead:
It’s all about the retrans deals, baby.

Favorite Music: Coldplay and David Gray

Unnecessary Luxury I Like Most Is: My iTouch.

Favorite Show Not on My Network: Gossip Girl — my guilty pleasure!

Favorite Part of My Job: Negotiating retrans deals

Worst Part of My Job: Negotiating retrans deals

Cable’s Biggest Challenge: Integrating old and new media business models

Best Business Advice Received: Don’t get too excited about the wins or too upset about the losses – they all even out…

My Company Is Preparing For The Future By: 
Developing unique distributor partnerships that will help them retain and acquire subscribers in the fastest growing segment of the US population. 

I Wish My Kids Would: appreciate that they can pause, fast forward and rewind live TV … if only that applied to everything else in life!

My Favorite Word Is:

The Trait You Most Admire In People Is:  Integrity – and the ability to perform a mean karaoke

Favorite Sports Team(s):  The Phillies – the 3 men in my life require it!


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The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and ESPN reached a multi-year rights agreement for SIAC football and basketball games through 2027. Beginning this fall, ESPN will feature at least 22 football games across ESPNU and ESPN+. ESPN will also have exclusive rights to all men’s and women’s basketball championship preliminary rounds on ESPN+ and the championship […]

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