Univision Launches Streaming Video Service

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Univision Now costs $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year and allows for live viewing of the Univision and UniMas broadcast networks and some on-demand access.

Univision Communications said Wednesday it has launched Univision Now, a direct-to-consumer service available on iOS, Android and online with a monthly or annual subscription fee.

With Univision Now, viewers can watch the Univision and UniMas networks live, featuring their respective full schedules of telenovelas, sports, news, award shows and more, but not all programming.

The monthly cost is $5.99, the annual subscription costs $59.99. Primetime content will be available on the service for seven days after its linear TV premiere. The service will also include three-day DVR functionality on live streams, with rewind capability of up to 72 hours. Univision's cable networks are not part of the service.

Also offered are push notifications for live breaking news and access to local news in New York, Los Angeles and Houston for viewers in those markets. The news feature will roll out in other major markets following launch.

Univision and UniMas are already available free over the air via antennas. But streaming access has only been available via TV Everywhere apps that require a pay TV subscription. With that in mind, the new service that gives access to the two networks inside and outside of people's homes seems mostly targeted at cord-cutters or cord-nevers.

“Our loyal and passionate audience leads the market in live television viewing, and also over indexes on smartphone penetration and digital video consumption. Therefore, providing access to our broadcast networks, Univision and UniMas, on mobile devices is critical to our mission to entertain, empower and inform,” said Tonia O’Connor, president of content distribution and corporate business development.

The median age of the Hispanic population in the U.S. is 27, a full ten years younger than the U.S. average, according to the latest census data. Univision and UniMas' viewers reflect this demographic reality, while also over-indexing in mobile and multi-platform viewing. Univision's primetime lineup - including popular telenovelas Antes Muerta Que Lichita (I’d Rather be Dead Than Ordinary), Pasión y Poder (Passion and Power) and Yo No Creo En Los Hombres (I Don’t Trust Men) - on many weeks this season have out-rated one or more of the English-language broadcast networks among adults 18-34.

Added O'Connor: “In addition to our robust TV Everywhere offering for pay TV subscribers, we now have a solution for our viewers who watch our networks over the air. Our goal is to serve all U.S. Hispanics."

Univision earlier this year filed for an initial public offering that has been expected by year's end. Some on Wall Street have recently suggested though that it could be moved into 2016 amid recent investor concerns about pay TV business trends.

Among content that the streaming service will include are primetime telenovelas Muchacha Italiana Viene a Casarse, Antes Muerta Que Lichita, Pasion y Poder and Yo No Creo en Los Hombres; reality hit shows La Banda and Nuestra Belleza Latina; such award shows as the Latin Grammy Awards, Premios Univision Deportes, Premio Lo Nuestro and Premios Juventud," and Liga MX Mexican league soccer matches and MLS games.