As Hispanic TV Market Grows, Univision Reshuffles Execs

New chief, programming at sibling net TeleFutura

Univision is revamping its smaller Spanish-language broadcast network TeleFutura with a format and executive-team reshuffling.

Luis Fernández-Rocha has taken over as TeleFutura’s svp, overseeing its programming and day-to-day operations. Fernández-Rocha, most recently svp and regional director of Univision Television Group in the Southeast, replaces Germán Pérez-Nahim, who stepped down after only a little over 10 months on the job. TeleFutura also announced that Carlos Bardasano will become vp of programming and original production.

Fernández-Rocha said that part of his job will be refocusing TeleFutura’s programming, with a newfound emphasis on feature films. As part of that revamp, TeleFutura will also begin airing the Fox cartoon Family Guy, though sources at the network say a premiere date has not been set.

The goal, Fernández-Rocha told Adweek, is not necessarily to try to compete with TeleFutura’s larger sibling Univision, but to provide a programming counterpoint to it. “We’re looking to be the number two language network in the country. We want to work with Univision. We want to be the alternative, the counterprogramming,” Fernández-Rocha  said. “So when Univision is running soap operas, we may be running movies. We want to give the Hipsanic market a very good alternative.”

TeleFutura’s audience pales in comparison to Univision. Last week, for example, TeleFutura averaged 620,000 total viewers (380,000 in the target 18-49 demographic) while Univision had around 3.4 million total average viewers in primetime (and around 1.75 million in the target demo).

Even so, in prime time TeleFutura looks to compete with NBCUniversal-owned Telemundo, the second-largest Spanish-language broadcast network in the country. And with the Hispanic TV market growing rapidly, Univision executives are betting that there’s more than enough demand to sustain the two. “I’ve witnessed firsthand the growth of the Hispanic market and the power of the market. We expect Spanish dominance to continue,” Fernández-Rocha said.

In addition to the Hollywood movies, which began airing last week, TeleFutura said it is also developing a new talk show set to premiere this spring, starring Spanish-language television personality Charytín.

As to why the network chose Family Guy as the only animation in the entire TeleFutura lineup, Fernández-Rocha said “it’s a program that’s been hugely successful in Latin America.”

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