An agreement finalised by news giant ABC and US Spanish language TV network Univision last week will see the first 24-hour English news channel to directly cater for America’s fast-growing Hispanic audience.
Talks between ABC and Univision began in early 2012, and in May the networks officially announced the partnership with a press release. The move seems to be taking advantage of the fast increasing US Hispanic population, which is currently at 16% and expected to reach 30% by 2050.
The Hispanic Connection
This partnership mixes the best of both worlds; ABC is the biggest broadcaster in the world in terms of revenue, and a powerful news brand with award winning coverage, while Univision has been a leading Hispanic media provider for decades. So, the extent of ABC’s reach and the cultural expertise of Univision is a cause for much optimism within America’s Hispanic population.
This yet to be named partnership will be an English-spoken 24-hour news network that focusses on stories relevant to the Hispanic community, giving this fastest-growing US demographic their first dedicated news service without alienating the rest of the population thanks to full English content. Hispanics will have access to culturally relevant news and various other programming alongside internet and social media engagement options, and the fact that the channel will be English spoken will give more chances to learn the language and engage with all aspects of America’s social canvas.
Implications of the deal
Given the fact that the Hispanic population will make up roughly a third of the US population by the second half of this century, the demand for high levels of representation and facilitation will increase significantly, and now the demand is finally being addressed. The spending power of the Hispanic community will be over $1 trillion by this time, and this will naturally reflect the increasing dominance of Hispanics within the social and cultural landscape — and with this the increasing importance and significance of Hispanic issues within the US.
This new network will therefore help to fill a cultural divide and disenfranchisement which has been increasing alongside the increase of the Hispanic population. The only current choices for news and related media are the three US news giants and Univision. The problem for ABC, CNBC and Fox is the lack of news coverage on issues that Hispanics find important, and the problem for Univision is that it is not English-spoken. Initially, the Hispanic population in the US was mostly that of Spanish speaking immigrants, but now that there is a rapidly increasing number of US-born Hispanics that are speaking English more than Spanish, this service will help them feel included thanks to Hispanic news covered completely in English.