Univision: ExpandingIts Hispanic Footprint - Broadcasting & Cable

Univision: ExpandingIts Hispanic Footprint

Network looks to pump more content into UniMás; enters business with filmmaker Robert Rodriguez
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Complete Coverage: Upfronts 2013

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STRATEGY: Beat English-language broadcasters at their own game with younger-skewing series and emphasis on multiplatform programming.


Looking to strengthen its lead in the U.S. Hispanic marketplace, Univision is targeting more young viewers.

The top-rated Spanish-language broadcaster will pump more content than ever into its millennial-skewing UniMas network, including adaptations of popular English-language series Breaking Bad (Metastasis) and Gossip Girl (Gossip Girl Acapulco).

Gossip Girl Acapulco will air simultaneously in the U.S. and in Mexico, the first drama to do so.

Building upon its deals with ABC (Fusion) and Participant Media, Univision has entered into a "strategic partnership" with the upcoming young-skewing El Rey Network, launching in December. El Rey is chaired by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and FactoryMade Ventures.

"Our partnership in El Rey Network is a testament to Univision's culture of innovation, the power of our brand to live in both languages and our constant quest to ensure we remain the ultimate resource for all Hispanics' tastes and preferences," said Univision Communications president & CEO Randy Falco.

During last week's upfront presentation, Rodriguez touted a series based on his film From Dusk Till Dawn, which he will write, produce and direct. He also announced another series from Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Star Trek and Transformers), which will start development at the end of June.

"The El Rey Network is going to be the home of kickass entertainment," Rodriguez told the audience.

During Univision's upfront call with reporters, Univision Networks president Cesar Conde took a shot at the English-language networks: "While we're rapidly climbing in ratings and popularity, the Big Four Englishlanguage networks are experiencing significant ratings declines," he said, noting that season-to-date, those networks are down 11% in total viewers.

At the upfront, Falco starred in a mock version of AT&T's "It's Not Complicated" spot, poking fun at English- language nets seeking more dollars while ratings dip.

For its main Univision network, the company is putting an emphasis on multimedia programming. The company's two new telenovelas will feature multiplatform elements. Televisa's La Tempestad (The Storm) will have parallel story lines across television, digital and social media. The other telenovela, Mentir para Vivir, will feature behind-the-scenes content on UVideos and other social media platforms.

Univision's Deportes Network is looking to ramp up its sports footprint, saying it will broadcast more live soccer than any other sports network regardless of language. This summer, during what Univision is calling 90 Dias de Delirio (90 Days of Madness), Univision Deportes will air over 100 games and more than 3,000 hours of live soccer.

E-mail comments to tim.baysinger@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: @tim_bays

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