A 24-hour news channel targeting English-dominant Hispanics is in the making. Walt Disney and Univision Communications Inc. are in talks to create a new 24-hour cable-news channel that will broadcast in English, in an effort to keep pace with changing demographics among U.S. Hispanics and reach a new audience of English speakers, people familiar with the negotiations told the Wall Street Journal. The discussions have been under way for at least six months and are ongoing, said the people. They added that the channel would be based in Miami and start service before the November presidential election.
The new channel would plunge Disney's ABC News more directly into the fractious cable-news wars, competing alongside Time Warner, CNN and News Corp ’s Fox News and Comcast Corp’s MSNBC. A venture would provide Disney with a cable-news presence, and advance Univision CEO Randy Falco's goal of building new channels. A new major channel targeting English – dominant Hispanics would also make Univision more attractive for its likely IPO this year.
The effort to reach an agreement for a new channel comes as Univision —long the most-watched Spanish-language U.S. channel, and the fifth most-watched channel of any language in prime-time—faces increased competition for the growing ranks of Hispanic viewers. Rival Telemundo, controlled by Comcast, has been investing heavily in new content. Meanwhile, Wall Street Journal owner News Corp. has partnered with a Colombian TV company to create a new broadcast channel called MundoFox.
Univision had previously said it planned to launch three new cable channels this year, including a news channel. Univision's news division has also been dabbling in English. A Tumblr website launched last year features articles and videos in English. And a new English-language news website is scheduled to be launched in March.
Explosion of Media Targeting English-dominant Hispanics
Univision’s and Disney’s discussion come in a moment in which a considerable number of companies are launching new media properties targeting English dominant Hispanics. To established companies like NBC, Cosmopolitan – Hearst) and FoxNewslatino.com, there are new start ups, particularly in the digital space, including guanabee.com, Hispanicallyspeakingnews.com and Voxxi.
Now, won’t Hispanics find enough information and entertainment in traditional English language cable, magazine and digital outlets? “A Hispanic population that is bilingual or English-dominant should not lead us into believing that we can target them with the same message used to reach Non-Hispanics. Tapping into the Hispanic culture and passion points will be key in engaging with this consumer. This is the beauty of the Hispanic market”, Carmen Torres ,Hispanic Media Supervisor, 22squared in Tampa tells Portada.