Univision Plans New, Ad-Supported Streamer: Report

Univision Coummunications Inc. is planning to launch a new, ad-supported, Spanish-language streaming service in next year’s first half, according to Bloomberg News sources.

Univision declined to comment on the report, which indicates that the service will likely “rely heavily” on the library of Mexico’s Grupo Televisa SAB, a Univision investor and programming supplier.

The new service is being pushed forward by incoming Univision CEO Wade Davis, who told Bloomberg in February — when he and other private equity investors agreed to acquire a 64% stake in Univision (Mexican television giant Televisa owns 36%) — that Spanish-speaking Hispanics are underserved by streamers, leaving that market “wide open.” Davis reportedly feels that Univision hasn't sufficiently promoted Univision Now, the streaming service it launched in November 2015, and wants to offer a more expansive service.

Univision Now (above) live streams Univision and UniMás. The app also offers digital-only channels featuring soccer highlights, horoscopes, news and novela recaps; and access to local Univision stations in major U.S. markets, the networks’ current programming (next-day on demand); and 5,000 hours of on-demand library content. It's available on iOS, Android and online for $10.99 per month or $118.99 per year.

In May 2018, Univision launched an SVOD that extended Now, providing subscription on-demand access to its Spanish-language programming and also offering content from partners including BBC Studios, RTVE, Televisa and Viacom.

Spanish-language options are already on the upswing.

In addition to Netflix’s growing offerings, Comcast features Spanish-language programming from its Telemundo broadcast network on the new Peacock streamer, notes Bloomberg. Dedicated Hispanic programming streamers include free service Vix, backed in part by Discovery, as well as $5.99-per-month Pantaya, from Lions Gate Entertainment and Hemisphere Media Group.

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