Programming

ABC News, Univision to Launch Hispanic TV Network

English-language news channel will target English-dominant, bilingual Hispanics 5/07/2012 09:13:57 AM Eastern

ABC News and Univision News have reached an agreement in
principle to launch a new 24/7 English-language TV news, information and
lifestyle network for English-dominant and bilingual Hispanics, the companies
said Monday.

The joint venture, which is subject to the completion of
definitive agreements, would launch the unnamed TV channel in the first half of
2013, with a Website, mobile and social media content expected to debut this
summer.

Executives from ABC News and Univision in charge of the
joint venture declined to specify whether they would look to create a new
channel or convert one of the existing channels owned by The Walt Disney Co. or
Univision Communications, saying that such an announcement was pending a final
signed agreement. While they said most cable operators who would carry such a
channel found out of the announcement this morning, they suggested a "clear
path" toward distribution, with additional details forthcoming.

The partnership calls for ABC News and Univision News to
share newsgathering and production resources, with the new channel featuring
anchors and correspondents from both networks in major cities across the U.S. A
management team for the new network is to be announced this summer.

News content on the network will report on current events
with a Latino perspective, like the economy, jobs, health care, immigration,
education and politics, but it will also focus on lifestyle issues of
importance to Hispanics, like entertainment, health and wellness. While cable
news networks like CNN are general news services, ABC News President Ben
Sherwood said their network would be highly customized for the Hispanic
audience.

"Rather than going out and trying to compete with the CNN's
and MSNBC's and the Fox's of the world, we actually imagine that we're going to
enter this space first and that others will come in and try to compete with us
in this particular segment that's so rapidly growing," he said.

When the negotiations between ABC News and Univision were
first reported by The Wall Street Journal
in February, it was said the joint venture would be located at Univision's
headquarters in Miami, though Univision Networks President Cesar Conde said
they are evaluating two or three potential cities and that the new network will
be its own separate entity.

Univision was founded in 1962 to serve Hispanic Americans,
and until now has been singularly focused on Spanish-language broadcasts
through its flagship Univision Network, TeleFutura and cable networks like
Galavision. Conde called the partnership for an English-language network a
"natural extension for us" and one that he hopes will have broad appeal to
other populations.

"We're going to bring a unique perspective to appeal not
only to Hispanics in English but also to frankly to people of all populations
because of the increasing influence we're seeing of Hispanics and this
demographic explosion on the social, economic and certainly political front,"
he said.

The joint venture gives ABC News and Univision shared
influence over the fastest-growing segment of the population: Hispanics
currently represent 16% of the total U.S. population, which is projected to
double to 30% by 2050. They also wield spending power of $1 trillion, expected
to increased to $1.5 trillion in the next five years, giving the new channel
substantial opportunity to court advertisers.

For ABC News, the partnership with Univision furthers the
division's goal to increase its reach and develop growth businesses. Last October,
ABC News entered a content-sharing deal with Yahoo!
to become the primary news provider on the Yahoo! News Website, expanding the
news division's reach to more than 100 million monthly U.S. visitors.

The new network will target the U.S.'s approximately 50
million Hispanics.

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