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ABC, Univision CableNet For English-Speaking Hispanics

Published on May 08, 2012

ABC News and Univision News today have announced an agreement “in principle” for a far-reaching, multiplatform joint venture dedicated to “informing, empowering and inspiring Hispanic Americans in English while providing all audiences with uncompromising coverage of current events with a unique perspective.”

The agreement would capitalize on Univision’s news leadership and expertise in reaching U.S. Hispanics and ABC’s global news leadership to serve over 50 million Hispanics, which the companies agree is the youngest and fastest-growing demographic in the U.S. The presentation in English is in response to the 2010 U.S. Census, which revealed that U.S. born Latinos represented about 60% of growth in the demographic over the last decade. Currently, Hispanics represent 16% of the total population in the United States (U.S. Census data), a number that is projected to double to 30% by 2050. Hispanics wield considerable spending power of over $1 trillion, and have an increasing impact on social, economic and political trends.

The new 24/7 network will include America’s first English-language channel for English-dominant and bilingual Hispanics as well as integrated digital and social platforms. It will deliver news content focused on issues, lifestyle interests and culture of importance to Hispanics and will feature a combined pool of journalists from both ABC News and Univision News.

This is good news for advertisers who are looking for another Hispanic-oriented outlet (which soared in 2011). According to Kantar Media, Spanish language TV ad spending surged 19.1% in fourth quarter, paced by higher sell-out levels at over-the-air networks. For all of 2011, the segment increased 8.3%. But, there were few Hispanic-oriented, English-language outlets. 

Huffington Post first leaked the ABC/Univision talks in February, citing unnamed “sources close to the negotiations.” The goal at the time was to begin broadcasting before the U.S.  Presidential Elections in November. Hispanics are considered influential swing voters in numerous states, including Florida, new Mexico and Arizona.

As HuffPo observed, this announcement is part of a strong trend: Fox News also added a Fox News Latino website in 2010 and Huffington Post itself created a Huffpost LatinoVoices site. NBC Universal as well increased the cross-reporting between its news division and its Spanish language Telemundo network.