Complete coverage of the 2012 upfronts
Upfront 2012 Marketplace: Buyers See Plenty of Content, But No Hits
ABC: Lee Looks to Build on Drama Successes
CBS: Key Shifts for 'Two and a Half Men,' '2 Broke Girls'
Fox: Taking Another Swing at Four-Comedy Tuesday
NBC: Betting Big on Comedy, 'The Voice'
CW Shifts Six of Its Seven Returning Series
USA: Expanding Beyond Drama
Turner Presents New Video Strategy, With No Glitches
ESPN: Promoting 'Face' Value
Telemundo Media Hopes to Capture 'Duality' of Hispanic Audience
Fox Hispanic Media: Breaking the Hispanic Network Mold
Discovery en Español Gets in the Game
Univision will celebrate its 50th anniversary this fall, and will honor the occasion with a new logo and first full on-air transformation in 20 years.
But before that celebration, the company with the nation's largest Hispanic viewership plans to launch the UVideos Digital Network this summer, marking its first foray into TV Everywhere. The service will feature content from Univision's entire portfolio of networks. Univision president Randy Falco said UVideos "will enable advertisers to reach Hispanics on a centralized platform."
It will also feature a tie-in with Facebook. "Univision is integrated with Facebook to provide our audiences a whole new way to join the conversation and engage with our content," Univision Networks president Cesar Conde said during the company's upfront presentation last week. "We will build on the Facebook platform and launch integrated social products to deliver even more value to Hispanic America."
Falco touted his network's 94% live viewership rate, saying he isn't afraid of losing viewers to online. "Not only do we have our audience consuming our content on multiple platforms around the clock, our linear television offerings have not suffered as a result," Falco said during a pre-upfront call with reporters.
Continuing to strengthen its partnership with Televisa, Univision Studios will coproduce a webnovela. The network is also working on two other webnovelas with crossover star Kate del Castillo. All three will be made exclusively for UVideos. "Our exclusive partnership with Televisa is one of the most important elements to our programming advantage," said Conde. "Televisa is the Hollywood of the Hispanic medium."
Univision executives once again stood behind their theory that while the audience for English-language broadcast networks continues to dwindle, theirs keeps rising. "Our audience is watching more, they're staying longer and they're increasingly using mobile," said David Lawenda, president, advertising sales and marketing at Univision.
After launching three branded nets dedicated to sports, novelas and news, Univision is looking to launch new genre-specific broadband channels. "We have a world-class programming portfolio that is unrivaled by any competitor, in any language," said Conde.
As for Univision's recent partnership with ABC News, Conde said he hopes the venture will appeal "to a broader audience because of the increasing influence that Latinos have had in the U.S. across all aspects." Conde said that more details about the new TV network will be released in the coming weeks.
Regarding new programming on the linear networks, Conde touted what he called, "the biggest fall season in our history." As part of its Televisa partnership, Univision will launch the new novelas Amor Bravio and Por Ella Soy Eva. This summer will feature a Friday daytime show, Despierta America Concert Series. And Univision will also have a special Sábado Gigante 50th anniversary celebration.
New seasons of ¡Mira Quién Baila!, Nuestra Belleza Latina, Parodiando and Pequeños Gigantes are also on the slate for later this year.
E-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter: @tim_bays