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ABC and Univision Becomes News Duo

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.

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