It loads up on telenovelas, adds channels

Amid a burst of expansion plans at the nation’s dominant Spanish-language broadcaster, Univision will power up its 2011-2012 programming grid with 500 original hours of primetime and latenight shows.

An enhanced partnership with its main programming supplier, Mexico’s Televisa, is also creating new cross-platform branding and integration opportunities that did not previously exist. Univision’s three new cable networks are slated to debut next year: sports channel Univision Deportes, news channel Univision 24/7 and telenovela channel Univision TLnovelas.

Buoyed by 2010 Census findings that confirm a 43% surge in the U.S. Hispanic population, Univision is working hard to narrow the chasm between its share of advertising coin and its rising audience share. Hispanics make up 16% of the U.S. population, but Spanish-language webs receive a mere 4% of total TV ad revenues.

“I agree that the gap is big but Univision has activated 150 new brands in the past six quarters,” David Lawenda, Univision’s prexy of advertising sales and marketing, said during a conference call with reporters in advance of its upfront presentation in Gotham today.

Univision delivered the highest year-over-year audience growth of any broadcast network in the adults 18-49 demo this season, compared to its English-language counterparts, which all saw auds erode, execs emphasized.

“Recognizing the power of the burgeoning Hispanic consumer base, Univision is investing in expanding our content across all media platforms with both traditional distributors as well as online and mobile video providers,” said Univision Networks prexy Cesar Conde.

Univision is unveiling four telenovelas at the upfront, three from Televisa — (“Dos hogares,” (Two Homes), “La fuerza del destino” (The Power of Destiny) and “Una familia con suerte” (A Fortunate Family) — and “Talisman,” from the creative team behind “Eva Luna,” Univision’s top-rated original telenovela, which it co-produced with Venezuela’s Venevision. “Talisman” will star Blanca Soto, who played the titular Eva Luna.

Univision’s programming lineup includes reality shows “Protagonistas” (Novela Stars) and “Pequenos gigantes” (Little Giants), skein “Equipo” (Team) and Univision Documentales (Documentaries) featuring two in-house docus a year.

Univision is also launching morning lifestyle magazine show “Hoy” (Today), stripped Monday to Friday.

Univison’s sibling broadcast net Telefutura will debut undercover cop skein “Mia” from the “Eva Luna” producers and Colombian telenovelas “El capo 2″ (Drug Lord 2) and “La mariposa” (The Butterfly).

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