Univision, ABC talk all-news channel

Possible partnership reflects interest in Hispanic auds

Univision and ABC News are in talks for possible joint venture to launch an English-lingo news cable network targeted to Hispanics.

Details of the deal were first reported Monday by the Wall Street Journal.

For the past year, Univision CEO Randy Falco has talked up the notion of expanding Univision’s reach with new channels, including an all-news outlet and one devoted to telenovelas (Daily Variety, April 13). Univision is poised to launch an English-lingo news website, though it is not believed to have any ties to ABC News.

Sources close to both companies cautioned that the discussions have been underway for months but the sides are still not close to making formal announcement. There’s no doubt that even with the muscle of Disney and Univision’s heft in the Hispanic market, an all-news channel launch will be an uphill battle with cablers and satcasters.

ABC News and Univision have a history of collaborating on some newsgathering activities, including polling and some ABC News correspondents have appeared on Univision news programs.

ABC News has flirted with launching an all-news network on and off for decades. The seriousness of the discussions with Univision reflect the heightened interest at major media companies in targeting the fast-growing English-speaking Hispanic demo with all manner of media and entertainment properties.

Reps for Disney-ABC Television Group declined comment on the matter. A Univision rep could not be reached for comment.