ABC, Univision to Start Joint Venture Cable News Network

on May 08 2012 12:52 PM
Univision panel
Univision, which has increased its visibility through a series of English-language interviews and forums earlier this year, is beginning an English-language news network in a partnership with ABC Reuters

ABC News and Spanish-language broadcaster Univision will launch an English-language 24/7 news network later in the year that will be focused on the growing number of Hispanic media consumers in the United States.

Our mission is clear: To offer culturally relevant news, information and lifestyle programming to the large and thriving Latino audience in the United States, Ben Sherwoos, president of ABC News, said in a statement.

It is not clear how much of an investment the companies will sink into the venture or what the timeline of the network's roll-out will be. The companies say they expect to offer content online this year, before the November presidential election, and are targeting a TV deployment somewhere in 2013. Univision has increased its visibility over the past year with a series of key interviews with U.S. political figures, as well as by hosting a presidental candidates' forum.

The partnership of ABC, which is owned by The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), and Univision's deal comes as other major networks have floundered in their attempts to make Latino-focused networks a bigger part of their portfolio. Fox News Latino, part of the Fox News family of news networks, is content-heavy on celebrity and music news, at the expense of other topics. And while NBC purchased Telemundo back in 2002, that network has never rolled out an English-language channel aimed at Hispanics as an alternative.