This week, ABC News and Univision announced the creation of a cable news channel for Hispanics. The twist? All the programming will be in English, which is a departure for Univision, the dominant force in primetime among Spanish-speaking viewers. The new channel, which doesn't have a name yet, will debut in 2013, and a companion website will appear this summer, just ahead of the November elections. Here, a guide to the latest addition to the cable news family:
What kind of programming will the network have?
Besides news, the channel will feature lifestyle, health, and entertainment programming geared toward Hispanics, though both ABC and Univision have been light on specifics of how, exactly, it'll cater to Hispanics. Still, both are hoping this enterprise is a win-win. ABC has "been hobbled because they don't have a cable news arm like NBC News, which has had MSNBC since the mid-1990s," says Brian Stelter at The New York Times. And Univision wants to dive deeper into the news business.
Why is the programming in English?
ABC and Univision are targeting a specific "segment of the rapidly growing Latino marketplace: Those people born in the United States who prefer to get their news in English," says David Bauder of The Associated Press. Of course, many second- and third-generation Hispanic immigrants know Spanish, but in many cases, it's largely used to communicate with relatives. Millions of Hispanic Americans use English as their primary language, and prefer to get their news in English, too.
How fast is the Hispanic population growing?
Quite fast. Hispanics account for 16 percent of the American population, but that's expected to shoot up to 30 percent by 2050. Similarly, the "buying power of Hispanics in the United States, estimated at $1 trillion in 2010, will grow to $1.5 trillion in 2015," says The Times' Stelter.
Are other networks launching similar channels?
Not quite, though there has been a boom of Spanish-language networks. Recently, Univision's rival Telemundo said it would team up with Fox News to create MundoFox, and CNN has a Spanish-only channel called CNN En Espanol. But nobody is doing an English channel targeting Hispanics, which ABC also envisions as a "bridge" that will attract non-Hispanic English speakers.
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