NuvoTV Raises $40M for New Programming
Cable network targets Latinos with English-language content
By Jon Lafayette -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/28/2012 6:00:00 AM
The added funding comes from Columbia Capital and Rho Capital Partners, which were investors when the channel started up in 2004, plus Veronis Suhler Stevenson and Tennenbaum Capital Partners. Time Warner and Dish Network are also small investors in the channel, which is independent, with no single entity holding a controlling stake.
"The money is dedicated to really doubling down on programming," says Michael Schwimmer, CEO of NuvoTV. While the channel's financials are private, Schwimmer said, "We don't need the cash to pay our bills. It's growth capital and that capital is simply to create better programming and more programming."
Schwimmer says the Hispanic market is hot and getting more competitive. News Corp. jumped into the market with the launch of MundoFox earlier this month, but that network is likely targeting Univision and Telemundo, which air Spanish-language programming.
NuvoTV sees a growing number of Latino viewers who want programming in English. "When the 2010 Census came out, everybody realized that the real growth in this critical demographic in our country is the U.S.-born Latino," he said. "We operate in the sphere of the Latinos who spend the majority of their time watching television in English. And when you look at the data what you find is that English-dominant Latinos that represent something like 40% of all Latinos in America and watch something like 90% of their programming in English."
He says that bilingual Latinos also watch a majority of their programming in English. Even Spanish-dominant viewers watch 30% to 40% of their programming in English, Schwimmer says. "They live here in America and it's relevant to their lives."
But Schwimmer notes that "no one has yet really cracked the code to how to deliver compelling programming to Latinos in English, but we've certainly been at it the longest and have made the most progress." Those viewers have a hunger for a "more contemporary depiction of Latinos in a non-stereotypical way."
NuvoTV won't be alone in targeting Latinos in English. Schwimmer notes that ABC and Univision are teaming up on English-language news and lifestyle channels for Latinos. "That says a lot when Univision, the dominant player in Hispanic programming in America today, decides it's going to dedicate meaningful resources to an English-language channel. And ABC obviously isn't going to invest in something like this lightly."
NuvoTV's distribution recently passed 30 million homes, according to Schwimmer. "Distributors, like advertisers, and everybody else, are really just getting comfortable with the concept that if they want to growth their relationship with Latino consumers in their footprint, the only way is by having a strong relationship with the second and third generation Latinos that represent the bulk of consumer spending," he said. And NuvoTV reaches those viewers with programming in English.
NuvoTV has already begun ramping up new programming. This summer, it launched Fight Factory, a reality series looking at some of the top Latino mixed martial arts fighters. In the fall, the network is premiering three more new shows: Mario Lopez One-on-One, The 7 of Clubs and Curvy Girls.
"Media for Hispanics is a growth area, in particular English language content for Hispanics is a growth area, and so that's what investors are looking for and that's what we offer," Schwimmer says.
Have other media companies expressed interest in acquiring an early mover in such a hot category? "Let's just say that people are watching us very closely and we're focused on growing the business and delivering a great product and there are no ongoing discussions in that regard," Schwimmer said.
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