Univision has landed its first distribution deal for its three national cable networks, set to launch by April 1. Satellite operator Dish will offer the sports, novela and news channels to a subset of its subscribers.
As Univision looks for other distributors, Dish also has landed exclusive distribution rights for 2012 for a second Univision-branded sports network.
The flagship Univision Deportes will offer games for 12 of the 18 teams in the top Mexican soccer league and newscasts targeting U.S. Hispanics. Content from a Mexican sports network will also be included.
“Deportes” will launch by March 1, along with an all-novela network. Spanish-language 24/7 news network Univision Noticias will debut a month later, looking to gain traction as the U.S. presidential campaign heats up. Univision Deportes Dos is the second sports channel.
Customers of the Dish Latino package will have access to all four networks.
As part of the broader agreement, Univision will offer Dish novelas and Spanish-language movies for its Blockbuster @Home offering, where there is a slew of video-on-demand content. The arrangement also appears to include retrans-consent payments to Univision from Dish for carriage of Univision and TeleFutura stations.
Separately, Dish said on Monday that VOD offerings for Blockbuster @Home will now include kid- and teen-targeted films from Lions Gate and Scholastic. It is also launching a broadband-TV bundle with partner ViaSat, allowing it to better compete with cable companies that offer broadband-TV-phone packages.