As the US audience for Spanish-language television continues to grow, the competition is heating up as evidenced by Univision’s rebranding of its second-largest network, TeleFutura, a shot across the bow at rival Telemundo.
Its new name is UniMás and the content and marketing skew are towards the younger male Latino. Univision Communications Inc. is the leading media company serving Hispanic America and new deals with Caracol Televisión, RTI Colombia, and Televisa strengthen its position as the fastest growing broadcast network in the US, irrespective of language.
“UniMás will offer the new generation of Hispanic Millennial trendsetters – the Más Generation – options for bolder content,” stated César Conde, president, Univision Networks. "We will deliver more of the best available Spanish-language programming, more series, more sports, and more movies that speak to what our audience is looking for.”
The revamped network debuts on Jan. 7, 2013 with a slate including dramatic thrillers, “Made in Cartagena” and “Quien Eres Tu” (Who are You), a boxing-themed drama called “Cloroformo,” and a project based on the novel “Diablo Guardian” by Xavier Velasco to be adapted by Gustavo Bolivar, author of the hit series “El Capo” and “Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso.”
Increased sports programming includes games from the Mexican National Team, Liga MX, CONCACAF Gold Cup 2013, FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 and World Cup 2014 and continue popular fare such as “Solo Boxeo” and “Contacto Deportivo.”
“We have been focused on making TeleFutura the undisputed No. 2 Spanish-language network in the U.S. behind Univision,” said Conde to the New York Times. “This new brand positioning is going to really identify and connect UniMás with the main mother ship brand of Univision.”
UniMás is an example of sweeping changes in Spanish-language television in the quest for more viewers and ad dollars. “The Hispanic market is not the old stereotype of the past at all. It’s incredibly young and tech savvy,” said Karl Heiselman, CEO, Wolff Olins, the agency that recently redesigned Univision’s logo as a 3D version of the multi-colored tulip and added “The Hispanic Heartbeat of America” as a new tagline.
Telemundo has also announced rebranding, replacing its blue “T” logo with a bright-red version in a campaign featured this month on parent NBCUniversal networks including A&E, Bravo, CNBC, Lifetime and MTV, where the Spanish word “te,” informal for “you,” is replaced with phrases like “Te sorprende” and “Te informa” (It surprises you. It informs you).
“It is the year of the brands in the Hispanic space,” said Jacqueline Hernández, COO Telemundo in the Times. “When you’re doing a brand refresh, your goal is to keep, maintain and attract.”
On the news front, CNN en Espanol, the Spanish-language news network pay TV leader for the past 15 years in Latin America and the United States, is launching CNN Latino, a syndicated programming block tailored for the U.S. Hispanic broadcast stations covering news, lifestyle, documentary, talk and debate.
"The U.S. market is so diverse and so large that there is room for two distinctive content options," stated Cynthia Hudson-Fernandez, SVP and GM of CNN en Espanol and Hispanic strategy for CNN/US.
CNN Latino will launch in Los Angeles late January 2013, with a branded programming block of eight hours as well as a dedicated section on the worldwide Spanish-language site, cnnespanol.com.
"There is a real demand for relevant, dynamic, quality programming and CNN Latino is a unique product designed specifically for the growing U.S. Hispanic audience, representing the dual reality of U.S. Latinos today who are multi-generational and proud to be bilingual,” added Hudson-Fernandez.