A top Univision executive did not offer any spin with regard to the competition the company’s new 24-hour sports cable network faces. With Fox and ESPN having all-sports, Spanish-language networks, Univision’s David Neal said: “We’re late into the game.”
But he added there is "clearly room for all three of us -- we think there’s enormous growth [ahead].
Univision Deportes Network launched last Saturday with games from the Mexican league and Major League Soccer, along with its flagship studio show “Univision Deportes Extra,” the network’s version of “SportsCenter.
UDN carries a “Cambió El Juego” (“The Game Has Changed”) tagline.
Neal, a longtime NBC Sports executive who joined Univision last year as a senior vice president, echoed themes that Spanish-language programming executives have highlighted for some time: Advertisers have under-recognized the Hispanic audience.
“We’re not getting the return that’s commensurate to the value” of the “loyal” and “passionate” viewers delivered, Neal said.
UDN has rights to 12 of the 18 teams in the Mexican league; in 2014 it will run ample content linked with Univision’s coverage of the World Cup.
After that, Univision will cede World Cup rights to Telemundo, but Neal said: “We’re in this business to stay.”
So far, UDN only has distribution on Dish Network. However, offering live World Cup games on the network -- no decisions have yet been made -- may help grow reach.