Spanish-language broadcaster said it will pay record fine

Sunday, February 25, 2007

WASHINGTON -- A Federal Communications Commission official said that Univision Communications Inc., the nation's largest Spanish-language broadcaster, has agreed to a $24 million fine for failing to provide adequate educational children's programs.

Federal rules require television broadcasters to air at least three hours a week of educational shows for children.

The fine is part of a deal that would transfer Univision's broadcast licenses to a group of private investors -- a $12 billion transaction. A vote could come at any time, said the agency official who confirmed the fine, which commission chairman Kevin J. Martin first disclosed to the newspaper. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the commission has yet to vote.

Martin has already approved the penalty, The New York Times reported.

The penalty involves charges that 24 Univision stations between 2004 and early 2006 circumvented guidelines on airing educational children's programs by running soap operas aimed mainly at adults.

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