ABC, Univision Reveal Name of New Network Aimed at Hispanics

Anne Sweeney Cesar Conde - H 2013
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Anne Sweeney Cesar Conde - H 2013

The cable channel will launch in the second half of the year in at least 20 million U.S. households.

ABC and Univision on Monday revealed that their new news and lifestyle cable network targeting U.S. Hispanics will be called Fusion.

The duo also announced that their English-language joint venture will launch in the second half of 2013.

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Five cable operators -- Cablevision, Charter, Cox, AT&T U-verse and Google Fiber -- already have signed on to carry the Miami-based network, which ABC and Univision say will be available in at least 20 million U.S. households at launch. Cox, Cablevision, AT&T U-verse and Charter have subscribers in the top five states based on U.S. Hispanic population (California, Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois), while Google Fiber is the search engine giant's speedy fiber-optic network that is being tested in Kansas City.

Meanwhile, the programming lineup will focus on "the issues most relevant for U.S. Hispanics," which includes such topics as the economy, entertainment, music, food, immigration, pop culture, education, politics and health and wellness.

The companies noted that the demo is the youngest and fastest-growing in the U.S. According to data from Nielsen reported by the New York Times, the buying power of U.S. Hispanics is estimated to grow from $1 trillion in 2010 to $1.5 trillion by 2015.

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"Our collaboration will bring unmatched reporting capabilities and understanding of issues and entertainment that resonate with the Hispanic community, one of the fastest-growing and important demographic communities in the U.S.," said Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks, and president, Disney/ABC Television Group.

While Univision has 12 networks, including channels focusing on sports and telenovelas, Fusion is its first English-language effort.

Said Cesar Conde, president of Univision Networks: "The launch of Fusion will be a major milestone in Univision’s 50-year history of service to the Hispanic community. ... [Fusion] will extend Univision’s unequaled coverage of Hispanic issues and lifestyle to English-dominant audiences for the first time.”

ABC News president Ben Sherwood said the programming will be "fresh, fun and optimistic" and designed to appeal to Hispanic and non-Hispanic viewers, while Univision News president Isaac Lee added that it will include "diverse cultures, voices and viewpoints" along with "local, national and global perspectives."

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ABC News and Univision first announced their 24/7 joint venture in May after 13 months of talks. The original aim was to launch in the first half of 2013.

“We’re not going out to take on CNN or MSNBC or Fox [News],” Sherwood told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. “They’re well established; they’re general service providers. And that’s not why we’re here. We’re here to do something customized and culturally relevant for a burgeoning population that eventually, we believe, will attract beyond that population. We want to be the first movers in the space. We’re not going out to compete with the general service providers.”