Univision Eyes Growth Through Traditional TV Expansion
Traditional television -- broadcast and cable -- is a growth business, an area where media companies can add existing programming and channels.
Univision, for example, wants to start three new cable networks, one for sports, one for telenovelas, and one for news/information.
For many existing media companies, launching even one new network would be a massive undertaking -- especially in this TV environment.
It has been a while since any media company made such a big shelf-space announcement about new traditionally distributed TV channels. ESPN and Discovery Communications were perhaps the last big groups to announce a slew of new cable channels.
But for Univision, with its Spanish-language niche, the move seems to make sense. One estimate says that some 60% of all U.S. citizens will be of Latin American descent some decades from now.
For a long time, TV's big business hurdle was pulling in more advertisers. Right now 16% of the U.S. population is Latin-American, but only 4% of advertising dollars goes into Latin-American-targeted media. That's an ongoing gap that Univision and its main competitor Telemundo have looked to close for some time.
Traditional cable system analog spectrum has been at capacity for years, but the cable digital spectrum could possibly squeeze in some niche networks, which is where Univision would like to head.
Univision grew almost 10% in prime-time ratings this year, and, at times, was the fourth place network, just ahead of NBC. Univision group is composed of two broadcast networks, Univision and TeleFutura; a popular cable channel, Galavision; and TV and radio stations.
Now, it wants more. Eso está claro.