New Univision Net Secures Wide Debut

Leading Spanish-language television broadcaster Univision has secured a whopping 80% distribution of the Hispanic population in the United States for the launch of its new network, Univision executives will announce at the network’s upfront presentation Wednesday in New York, where the new net is expected to take center stage, along with the biggest sports event on Univision next year, the 2002 World Cup.

About 60% of the reach of the new network will be provided by the USA Broadcasting’s TV stations, which Univision is in the process of acquiring. Cable distribution will contribute 5%-10%, and the rest will come from affiliate stations that the Spanish-language broadcaster has signed. At its start, set for January, the new network’s distribution will be in the same ballpark as the main players in Spanish-language television: Univision (92%) and Telemundo (88%).

Earlier this month, company’s executives said the new net will target 40%-45% of Hispanics in the United States who don’t currently watch Spanish-language television. Because in primetime those viewers tend to be male, the network is planning to air significant amount of sports programs as well as male-oriented movies to run against the family-appealing telenovelas on Univision and Telemundo.