Univision Holdings' $135 million acquisition of Gawker Media, should it be approved, will forever be remembered for the sordid details of retired pro wrestler Hulk Hogan's pact with tech billionaire Peter Thiel to exact revenge against a collection of brassy websites and their owner, Nick Denton.
But once the backstory of a Florida court awarding $140 million in damages to Hogan, born Terry Gene Bollea, for Gawker's publication of a snippet of a sex video is stripped away, the sale of the New York media company highlights the industry's eagerness to get larger through consolidation.
Univision, which revealed plans for an initial public offering in July 2015, has been acquiring and expanding its digital portfolio to compliment its chief business as the largest Spanish-language broadcaster in the U.S. The New York company purchased a minority stake in humor site The Onion earlier this year, and it previously acquired The Root, a news and culture site for African Americans, and took complete ownership of Fusion, a pop culture and news site that has drawn comparisons to Buzzfeed.
As marketers seek to get the biggest bang for their spending, they're moving more of their money to media companies that can offer the widest, most efficient distribution, said Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors, a part of consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates.
Every media company, Univision included, is competing with Facebook (FB) and Alphabet's Google (GOOG) , which accounted for a staggering 72% of all digital ad revenue outside of China in the second quarter, according to an Aug. 10 investor report from Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research Group. (Facebook is a portfolio holding of Action Alerts PLUS, managed by TheStreet's founder, Jim Cramer.)