The news this week that Fox is partnering with Colombia’s RCN to launch a Spanish-language broadcast cable took media reporters by surprised, with News Corp. expressing its desire to challenge Univision and Telemundo. The day the announcement was made,Portada caught up with Emiliano Saccone (photo), the Argentina-born President, Entertainment of Fox International Channels Latin America, who shed a bit more light on the plans for the Fall launch of MundoFox, a 24/7 channel targeting U.S. Hispanics. Saccone spoke on the phone from a hotel room in Miami, where he and other Fox executives are attending NATPE. An edited excerpt follows:

Portada: In reporting about the new venture, The Wall Street Journal picked the provocative headline of “Hispanic TV Gets Crowded… Do you think Hispanic TV is already crowded?

Emiliano Saccone: [Pauses] Well… I wouldn’t say it is crowded –yet. I think it eventually will be. But not yet.

P: How long have you guys been planning this launch?
E.S: I can tell you we [at least here at Fox] have been toying with the idea of a Spanish-language broadcast for a while. It has been a couple of years since we decided to keep a close eye on this market. But things really started to heat up leading to the 2010 Census. I think there is a strong media offer out there, but … is it fulfilling what advertisers expect? We really think there is room for growth in the space…

P: Speaking of fulfilling advertisers’ wishes… Monica Gadsby, over at SMG, one of the largest media buyers, told the WSJ: “I don’t need another Telemundo or Univision, in terms of general-interest networks.” How do you respond to that?
E.S. I couldn’t agree more! The market doesn’t need another Univision, nor another Telemundo… And MundoFox is not trying to be one of those [properties.] I think there is an opportunity for a new proposal. For example, we are going to program telenovelas, but telenovelas will not be the main driver of our channel. Also, our telenovelas will be more action-packed. Think [RCN’s] El Capo; El Capo is a great example of the type of series we want to program.

P: What other type of content do you plan to offer on MundoFox?
E.S: We have some of the hottest soccer properties through our sister network Fox Deportes; so we’ll be doing a lot of sports. Also, we’ll be showcasing programming from News Corp.-owned SHINE, which will be producing for the first time in Spanish! We will also be producing our own MundoFox reality-based programming.

P: Will MundoFox be integrated into Fox Hispanic Media?
E.S: Of course. We plan to present it together along with Fox Deportes, Utilísima and NatGeo during this summer’s upfront presentation in New York City.

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Laura has lived and worked as a journalist in Mexico, Chile, Argentina and the U.S. She was the founder and editor in chief of Marketing y Medios magazine, an English- language trade publication devoted to explaining the Hispanic market to a non-Spanish speaking audience of executives and marketers. Prior to that, she was responsible for creating and launching the Spanish-language edition of the Wall Street Journal. She was also the creator and founding editor of Entrepreneur magazine´s Spanish-language Web site www.SoyEntrepreneur.com. She is fluent in Spanish, English and French and works as a freelance writer and editor in New York City.

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