Univision President-CEO Randy Falco and Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer made the announcement Monday, touting the yet-to-be-named venture as the first premium SVOD movie service designed specifically for Spanish-speaking and bilingual Hispanic consumers in the U.S. The service will include Spanish-language titles in the U.S. and movies titles from across the Spanish-speaking world with many available on the same date as their theatrical release in Latin American markets.
The venture will also include titles from Lionsgate’s joint venture with Televisa, Pantelion Films and Hollywood films from Lionsgate’s 16,000-title library and other catalogs dubbed into Spanish.
Pantelion has rights to more than 70% of the top-grossing films from Mexico over the past five years, including the comedies “Instructions Not Included,” “Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos” and the comedy “No Manches Frida.”
Univision will offer the new service to cable and satellite operators individually as well as in tandem with its own Univision Now subscription service for its broadcast networks Univision and UniMas. Univision will also license titles from its classic Latino cinema library to the new service.
“Our premium movie service checks all the boxes for success – a world-class partner in Univision, films from the Pantelion brand that has great equity among Spanish-speaking audiences, strong management, terrific intellectual property and a well-defined market opportunity,” said Feltheimer. “This new service has all the ingredients to be the leading premium movie channel for Hispanic audiences in the U.S. as well as a great addition to our growing portfolio of SVOD services.”
Falco noted that Hispanic movie-goers are one of the fastest-growing segments of the entertainment business.
“We’re pleased to bring our marketing and distribution experience to an exciting new service driven by current and classic Spanish-language films and Hollywood favorites that will resonate with our audience,” Falco added. “Univision’s experience and vast reach coupled with Lionsgate’s and Pantelion Films’ successful track record demonstrate the tremendous opportunity of the Spanish-language movie audience in the U.S.”
Lionsgate SVOD services include year-old Tribeca Shortlist; Comic-Con HQ, which debuted in July; and Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud comedy platform, which premieres early next year.
Feltheimer is a member of the board of directors of Televisa, which has an ownership stake in Univision.