Univision, the top Spanish-language network and the fifth largest television network in the US, plans to launch three new cable channels in the next year in an effort to solidify its hold on the growing Latino market.
One channel will be devoted to telenovelas, another to sports including football games, and the third to news.
The Spanish-language soaps have won the network top ratings in primetime viewing, and the new channel will capitalize on the continued popularity. Univision will tap its Mexican programming partner, Grupo Televisa, which produces a library of popular telenovelas, to fill the proposed telenovela channel.
The New York-based communications giant will also unveil 500 hours of new original productions scheduled for primetime and late night, including more telenovelas.
The network boasts an 8 percent increase in year-over-year audience growth in the 18-49 demographic, over English-language US networks, ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. This reflects the fast-growing segment of 50 million Latinos living in the US, 16 percent of the population, according to 2010 census data. From 2000 to 2010, the Hispanic population grew 43 percent.
Speaking to the power and growth of the Hispanic marketplace, Randy Falco, Univision's chief operating officer, told the Los Angeles Times. "We are actually at a tipping point where advertisers cannot ignore this market any longer."
Univision expects to collect $1.3 billion in advertising this coming season, more than twice what its rival, Miami-based Telemundo earns.
In addition to its two broadcast networks, Univision and TeleFutura, and cable channel Galavision, Univision's new cable channels also intend to establish another source of revenue from cable affiliate fees to reduce reliance on advertising.