On day two of NATPE, it was Univision's turn to host media at an intimate breakfast where executives from its three networks-Univision, Telefutura and Galavision-spoke about the company's programming direction and future plans, including the launch of three new networks, one devoted to only news, another to only sports and the third to only telenovelas.
"We have the power of 50 million Hispanics that work and live here [in the U.S.]," said Luis Fernandez, president of Entertainment and Univision Studios.
Among the Univision programs highlighted during the Jan. 24 breakfast was "Q'Viva, The Chosen," the Marc Anthony-Jennifer López production which will begin airing on Univision January 28 as well as soap opera "El Talismán," cooking show "Delicioso" with host Ingrid Hoffmann and "Dale Con Ganas," a weight loss show a la "The Biggest Loser" produced in partnership with Emilio Estefan.
This year, Univision will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of entertainment show "Sábado Gigante," and has been creating vignettes with the dozens of artists that have performed on the show through the years. The celebration will conclude with a major year-end special that will be supported by Univision's other shows and platforms.
Fernández also introduced Luis Fernández-Rocha, newly named as Sr. VP for TeleFutura and Carlos Bardasano, the new VP of programming and original productions for Telefutura.
Fernández-Rocha (no relation to Fernández), said he sees Telefutura as "more youth-oriented, more cutting edge and more aggressive."
Later in the day, Univision Networks president Cesar Conde sat for a one on one session as part of NATPE's conferences where he announced that the network will begin closed-captioning in English for all its prime-time programming, something competing network Telemundo has been doing for the past eight years, from the moment it began producing original programming.
On the Univision end, "It will start next week with our new novela 'Talismán," said Conde.
Univision's goal for the next 12 months, says Conde, is to "really transcend. Break through the mindset that we have arrived […] and that we're at the level of some of the large English language networks and hopefully we're adding value."
Conde also spoke about Univision's competitiveness with the mainstream and the fact that the network is reaching an audience that goes beyond Spanish speakers.
"We've evolved to a point where now anytime people talk about ABC, CBS [or any of the major networks] they also talk about Univision. People don't realize every single night Univision beats one of those networks [in the 18-34 demographic]," he said. "We as a culture are much, much younger […] And we have huge pockets of bilinguals watching Spanish language TV. So most of our audience is not watching because they have no other choice. They're watching because this is culturally relevant, high quality content that speaks to them."