Univision

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Univision
Type Broadcast Television Network
Country United States
Availability Throughout the United States
Slogan Todos estamos con Univisión
(We All are with Univisión)
Estás en Casa
(You are at Home [used in Puerto Rico])
Siempre Contigo
(Always With You)
La Casa de Todos
(Everyone's House)
Broadcast area
United States
Puerto Rico
Owner Univision Communications, Inc. (95%) and Grupo Televisa (5%)
Key people
Randy Falco, CEO; Isaac Lee, President, News; Alberto Ciurana, President of Programming and Content; Juan Carlos Rodriguez, President Sports
Launch date
September 30, 1962
Former names
Spanish International Network (1962–1986)
Official website
univision.com
Language Spanish

Univisión (Spanish pronunciation: [uniβiˈsjo̞n]) is an American Spanish language broadcast television network that is owned by Univision Communications. The network's programming is aimed at Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States; its programming includes telenovelas and other drama series, sports, sitcoms, reality and variety series, news programming, and imported Spanish-language feature films. It has one of the largest audience of Spanish-language television viewers in the world, according to Nielsen ratings.

Univisión is headquartered in New York City,[1] and has its major studios, production facilities, and operations in the Miami suburb of Doral, Florida, United States. In recent years, the network has reached viewership parity with the U.S.'s five major English-language television networks, and is often a strong fifth, outranking The CW, with some fourth-place weekly placings, and as of 2012, even first place rankings for individual programs over all five English networks due to the network's consistent schedule of new telenovelas all 52 weeks of the year.

Univision is available on cable and satellite throughout most of the country, with local stations in over 50 markets with large Hispanic and Latino populations and a national cable network feed distributed in markets without either the availability or the demand for a locally-based station. Most of these stations air full local news and other local programming in addition to network shows, and in major markets such as Los Angeles, New York City and Miami; the local newscasts carried by the network's owned-and-operated (O&O) stations are equally competitive with their English-language counterparts ratings-wise. Chief operating officer Randy Falco (CEO as of June 29, 2011) has been in charge of the company since the departure of Univision Communications president and CEO Joe Uva in April 2010.[2]

History[edit]

Beginnings as Spanish International Network[edit]

In 1955, Raul Cortez founded KCOR-TV (channel 41, now KWEX-DT) in San Antonio, Texas. The call letters were later changed to KUAL-TV. The station was not profitable, and in 1961, Cortez sold it to a group headed by his son-in-law Emilio Nicolas, Sr. and Mexican entertainment mogul Emilio Azcárraga Vidaurreta. Nicolas had helped produce channel 41's variety shows, while Azcárraga was the owner of Telesistema Mexicano, forerunner of Televisa.

The new owners turned the station around, and in 1962, signed on KMEX-TV (channel 34) in Los Angeles and in 1968 signed on New York City area station WXTV (channel 41) in Paterson, New Jersey. This was the beginning of the Spanish International Network, the first non-English-language television network in the United States.

Over the next 20 years, SIN would acquire other high-rated Spanish-language television stations throughout the Western United States, and then expand the market to WLTV in Miami, Florida; KDTV in San Francisco; and WSNS-TV in Chicago. In the mid-1970s, the network also began to distribute its national feed via satellite, first as a superstation-type feed of San Antonio's KWEX-TV, then as a general feed allowing cable television providers to carry the network at little cost on their systems.

Rename to Univision[edit]

SIN was renamed Univision in 1986, and its logo bore a resemblance to Televisa's.

1986 was a pivotal year for the station group and the network. Nicolas sold his stake in the network to a partnership of Hallmark Cards and Televisa. The Federal Communications Commission had long wondered (and competitors to SIN had long proposed) that the relationship between SIN/Spanish International Communications and the owners of Televisa was impermissably tight. Questions were asked and answered and the outcome was that the FCC and the U.S. Justice Department encouraged a sale of the service to a properly consitituted domestic organization. This began talks that ended with Hallmark Cards buying the stations, and forming a new relationship with Televisa for programs.

The new group changed the network's name to Univision. Univision's new CEO, Joaquin Blaya, was to sign the contracts for two programs that would change the network. Blaya signed Cristina Saralegui, who became a well-known talk show host, and Mario Kreutzberger – better known as Don Francisco – who brought from Chile his famous program Sábado Gigante. The network also began production of its first morning program, Mundo Latino, anchored by Lucy Pereda and Frank Moro, who were both Cuban. Moro left for Mexico to continue his career as a soap opera actor and the network brought in Jorge Ramos.

In 1988, the network began to produce television shows with a national audience in mind. The first production was titled TV Mujer ("Woman TV"), a magazine-styled show aimed at Hispanic women in the United States. Originally anchored by Lucy Pereda and Gabriel Traversari, the program was a mix of cooking and entertainment segments.

Pereda was replaced shortly after finishing her first year by Mexican-American Lauri Flores, who previously worked at KXLN-TV in Houston, Texas, where she was director of programming, promotions, special events, and public information as well as producer and host of the local community affairs show Entre Nos. During Flores' time as host of TV Mujer, the show remained the number one daytime show on Spanish-language television,[3] outperforming its time period competition by 33 percent. Telemundo's Dia a Dia, launched before the arrival of TV Mujer, saw its ratings diminishing.

Sábado Gigante model Jackie Nespral became the add-on host in TV Mujer's last year, hired to fill in while Flores was on maternity leave. Nespral became a formal host during the show's final season. TV Mujer begat a series of other programs, namely Hola, America and Al Mediodia, which never got the ratings of the original concept and were cancelled.

Revamp and competition with Telemundo in the 1990s[edit]

Univision logo, used from January 1, 1990 to December 31, 2012.

Univision then decided to expand its news programming in the afternoon and launched Noticias y Mas ("News and More"), with Nespral, Ambrosio Hernandez, Myrka Dellanos, and Raúl Peimbert. In the early 1990s, Hernandez and Peimbert left Univision and joined Telemundo, while Nespral joined the weekend edition of NBC's Today show. Univision had other plans for the moribund show – the network revamped it, changed its name and its theme music, and installed a weekend reporter to be Dellanos' partner: Puerto Rican born María Celeste Arrarás, who joined the now news program called Primer Impacto.

In 1993, having purchased Univision from Hallmark a few months earlier, Jerry Perenchio appointed Miguel Banojian to turn around the operations of KMEX, the company's West Coast flagship station in Los Angeles, which generated a big portion of the company's revenue. Univision also acquired KXLN, the first Spanish-language television station in the Houston market in 1993. Banojian was then a 25-year-old executive from Univision's New York City headquarters, where he helmed the East Coast flagship station WXTV's newscasts. His outstanding results in Los Angeles positioned KMEX as the first[citation needed] Spanish-language television station ever to outperform the English-language networks, including NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox, and overcame what had been Telemundo's competitive edge against Univision.[citation needed]

2000s[edit]

In 2002, Univision entered into a local marketing agreement (LMA) with Raycom Media to operate two television stations in Puerto Rico: WLII in Caguas and WSUR in Ponce. At the time, WLII had a longtime LMA with another Puerto Rican station, WSTE, which Univision honored. It was also around this time that Univision resumed its broadcast expansion by converting several stations it owned in Raleigh, North Carolina (WUVC), Cleveland, Ohio (WQHS), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (WUVP), and Atlanta, Georgia (WUVG), among many others – most of which were acquired from USA Broadcasting and had previously been affiliated with the Home Shopping Network. Both WLII and WSUR were sold to Univision Communications in 2005. Since that point, Univision also signed affiliation agreements with television stations owned by other media companies in cities such as Detroit, Seattle, Portland, Oregon, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, Nashville and Kansas City – expanding its affiliate body further outside the Univision-owned stations and stations owned by Entravision Communications.

In June 2002, Univision acquired Dallas, Texas-based Hispanic Broadcasting Corp., owner of Spanish language radio stations such as WADO in New York City, KLVE in Los Angeles, KGSX in San Antonio, and KESS in Dallas. Following the FCC's long-awaited approval of the acquisition, the group was renamed Univision Radio. The negotiations to merge the two companies followed years of on-again, off-again negotiations in which each company would make a run at the other, as well as occasional stabs at other groups (HBC once attempted to broker a deal to merge with Spanish Broadcasting System, and HBC once tried to acquire Telemundo outright before Sony Pictures Entertainment and Liberty Media acquired that network in 1998).

In late 2004, a feud began between Perenchio and the head of Televisa, Emilio Azcárraga Jean.[citation needed] regarding Univision's continual editing of Televisa's programming, and the failure to pay for rights to Televisa-produced sports and specials. The feud intensified to the point where Televisa's most famous stars were banned from appearing on any Univision-produced shows and specials. In addition, Televisa filed a lawsuit against Univision for breach of contract. It was also rumored that Univision would form a partnership with Televisa longtime rival TV Azteca of which in fact bought airtime rights and footage to be used on Univisions' news broadcasts for a short period of time. In recent years, Univision also lost several key on-air personalities to Telemundo, including longtime weekend news anchor Maria Antonieta Collins, tabloid news anchor María Celeste Arrarás, and sports announcer Andrés Cantor.

Univision previously overtook the now-defunct English-language networks UPN and The WB – which shut down in 2006 to form The CW Television Network, which Univision also outranks – as the fifth-most popular network overall, and sometimes ranks higher in the advertiser friendly demographics of adults 18 to 34 and 18 to 49-years-old.

On April 7, 2005, Univision held a three-hour tribute concert for singer Selena, entitled Selena ¡VIVE!. The concert earned a 35.9 Nielsen household rating, not only being the highest rated show of the night, but also being the highest-rated and most-watched Spanish-language program in American television history.[4]

A Univision float in the 2010 North Hudson Cuban Day Parade in Union City, New Jersey.

On February 9, 2006, Univision Communications announced that it was putting itself up for sale. News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch stated that his company was considering buying Univision, but backed off that position.[5] Other expected bidders were Time Warner, CBS/Viacom, The Walt Disney Company, Grupo Televisa of Mexico (under a partnership, due to FCC laws that restrict ownership of a television station or network by a foreign company to a percentage of no more than 25%), Bill Gates, and several private equity firms. The Tribune Company was rumored to be interested in buying Univision's sister network TeleFutura.[6]

On June 27, 2006, Univision Communications was acquired by a consortium led by Haim Saban's Saban Capital Group (who had previously owned the entity Saban Entertainment), TPG Capital, L.P., Providence Equity Partners, Madison Dearborn Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners for $13.7 billion or $36.25 per share plus $1.4 billion in acquired debt.[7][8] The sale received federal approval on March 27, 2007,[9] with the deal being finalized that same day.[10]

The buyout left the company with a debt level of twelve times its annual cash flow, which was twice the debt incurred in buyouts occurring over the previous two years.[11] However, Univision's shareholders filed two class-action lawsuits against the company and its board members to stop the buyout. One lawsuit claimed that the board members structured the deal to only benefit the company's insiders and not the average stockholders. The other lawsuit was filed on behalf of a shareholder identified as L A Murphy, who claimed that the board put its own personal interests and the interests of the winning bidder ahead of shareholders, and also failed to adequately evaluate the company's worth. In the meantime, more lawsuits were filed: one against Univision's records division for heavy-handed tactics, and the other by a winner of a ¡Despierta América! $30,000 makeover contest who alleged that Univision broke its own contest rules.[12]

On June 25, 2007, with the finale of La Fea Más Bella, Univision led all U.S. broadcast networks, including English-language services, with a 3.0 rating out of 9 share, which also made the show the second most watched program that week.[13] Later that year, Univision hosted the first Spanish-language presidential debate in the United States at the University of Miami.[14]

On April 5, 2008, Univision introduced a new Saturday morning cartoon block, Planeta U, featuring shows such as Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go!, Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks, Inspector Gadget's Field Trip and Beakman's World, all dubbed in Spanish. The following month, Univision Music Group was sold to Universal Music Group and combined with the latter's Latin music label to become Universal Music Latin Entertainment.

In 2009, the network sponsored a countdown in Times Square, similar to the New Year's Eve event. On the evening of June 12, at 11:59 p.m. ET, a 60-second countdown appeared on the Jumbotron-size screen marking the shutdown of full-power analog television signals in the Eastern Time Zone, culminating in the message "BIENVENIDOS A LA ERA DIGITAL" ("welcome to the digital era"). This was aired live by the network during Ultima Hora: Una Nueva Era. The ball was lighted in white but was not dropped, remaining at the bottom where the lighted "2009" sign also remained, despite the four-month delay of the digital television transition from February 17. That year, Univision announced it would construct a new studio facility called Univision Studios, to be built in Doral, Florida.[2][15]

2010s[edit]

2D version of Univision's new 2013 logo.

During the first week of September 2010, the network reached a milestone with a first-place ranking in the 18-49 demographic among all networks – English and Spanish – assisted by a primetime football match between Mexico and Ecuador and the finale of a popular telenovela, along with the English networks having traditionally weak programming that time of year.[16]

In October 2010, Televisa agreed to acquire a 5% stake in Univision, which it has the option to expand in the future, and to extend and expand the companies' long-term program licensing agreement. The agreement (which runs through at least 2020, but more likely 2025 or later, compared with the previous deal's 2017 expiration) includes internet and mobile streaming rights and covers key Mexican football (soccer) rights.[17]

On October 17, 2012, Univision Communications unveiled an updated corporate logo, which was adopted on-air by the Univision network during the broadcast of its New Year's Eve countdown program ¡Feliz 2013! on December 31. The new logo shares the multicolored quadrant design of the previous logo, but now resembling a three-dimensional heart to represent its new slogan, "El latido del corazón hispano de Estados Unidos" (lit. "The Hispanic Heartbeat of the United States"). The logo's three-dimensional shape represents Univision's recent growth as a "360-degree", multi-platform media company, while its seamless form represents the unity of Hispanic cultures.[18]

In 2012, Univision and ABC News announced that it would partner to form an English-language digital cable and satellite news channel, later given the name Fusion in February 2013, that would be primarily aimed at English-speaking Hispanic and Latino American audiences; Fusion was launched on October 28, 2013.[19][20]

Affiliates[edit]

Univision HD[edit]

Univision HD is a 1080i high definition simulcast feed of the main Univision network that began operations on January 1, 2010 at 12:02 a.m. ET/PT, on its East and West Coast flagship stations in New York City and Los Angeles, WXTV-DT and KMEX-DT. The first Univision program to be televised in high definition was that day's broadcast of the Tournament of Roses Parade.[21] On January 18, 2010, Univision debuted its first telenovela to be broadcast in HD, Hasta que el Dinero nos Separe; the telenovelas Un Gancho Al Corazon and Sortilegio also began airing in high definition on that date. Most other telenovelas airing on the network are now broadcast in HD. Sports programming is also broadcast in HD, including its coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. As of July 2013, most Univision programs (including Noticiero Univision, Primer Impacto, ¡Despierta América!, Al Punto, Mira Quien Baila and Sabado Gigante) and some movies are broadcast by the network in high definition; although most telenovelas, sitcoms and variety series produced prior to 2010 that air in reruns on Univision are not broadcast in the format. DirecTV added the East Coast HD feed on April 28, 2010.[22] Dish Network has been broadcasting the HD feed since May 12, 2010.[23]

Programming[edit]

The majority of Univision's programming consists of telenovelas and series produced by Televisa and broadcast on Canal de las Estrellas in Mexico. Prior to 2009, Univision formally broadcast telenovelas produced by Venezuelan broadcast network Venevision. The network's signature program, the Saturday night variety show Sabado Gigante, hosted by Don Francisco, has aired on Univision since April 12, 1986. As such, Univision is one of only two American television networks that airs a first-run program during Saturday primetime (CBS is the only other, although ABC, Fox and occasionally NBC do broadcast live sporting events on certain Saturday evenings). Situation comedies and variety shows (such as Parodiando, ¡Q'Viva! The Chosen, Vecinos and La Familia P. Luche) largely make up Univision's weekend lineup.

Univision produces a moderate amount of original programming, including Sabado Gigante; the daily morning music video program Tu Desayuno Alegre; the reality competition series Nuestra Belleza Latina and Mira Quien Baila; national news programming including the flagship Noticiero Univision newscast, Primer Impacto, Al Punto, and the morning news program Despierta America; entertainment news shows El Gordo y La Flaca and Sal y pimienta; and sports talk program República Deportiva. Univision also operates its own television production firm launched in 2009, called Univision Studios, which produces original content for the network.[24]

The network's weekend daytime schedule features a morning children's program block called Planeta U, consisting of Spanish-dubbed versions of American children's programs.[25] Univision also typically airs drama and variety series in the afternoon (telenovelas that appeal to teen or pre-teen audiences previously aired on early Saturday afternoons until 2011). The network also airs some films, generally in weekend timeslots; but unlike UniMás and Telemundo, Univision does not air Spanish-dubbed English-language films. While Univision largely programs its affiliates' schedules in a sense since they air the large majority of its programming, some Univision stations do produce locally-produced programs such as local evening newscasts and public-affairs programs; many affiliates that do produce newscasts generally air them only on Monday through Friday evenings and with only a few exceptions, do not carry weekend newscasts.

In 2004, Univision published a list of words it edited from programs broadcast by the network (mostly those acquired from Televisa and other distributors) to comply with the FCC broadcast decency standards. The words affected had no negative connotations in some Spanish-speaking countries, but had obscene connotations in other countries.[26] In June 2005, Grupo Televisa filed a lawsuit against Univision in a U.S. federal court accusing the network of several actions, including "unauthorized editing" of Televisa programming.[27]

Agreements with other Corporations[edit]

English subtitles[edit]

On January 30, 2012, Univision began providing English subtitles on its weekday primetime telenovelas that air between 7-11 p.m. Eastern/6-10 p.m. Central Time. Some weekend evening programs (such as Sabado Gigante) also utilize English captions, in addition to the native Spanish-language captions on CC1. The network joins Telemundo, which has carried its entire weeknight primetime schedule with English subtitles, from September 2003 to October 2008 and again since March 2009. The subtitles appear as closed captions on CC3. The network intends the subtitles to attract Hispanic viewers who may not be fluent in Spanish and other non-Spanish speakers.[28] Programs which include English-language captions during their original broadcast may also include them in future repeats airing outside of the primetime schedule.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Miami Herald[dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Univision anuncia la creación de Univision Studios - Novedades". Univision.com. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  3. ^ Source: Strategy Research Corporation's (SRC) 1989 fall sweeps performed from May to November 1989
  4. ^ Univision's Selena ¡Vive! Breaks Audience Records. Univision, November 4, 2005. Retrieved on June 6, 2006.
  5. ^ B&C Mobile
  6. ^ "Univision Confirms It May Be for Sale". The New York Times. February 9, 2006. Retrieved May 27, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Broadcasting Media Partners Completes Acquisition of Univision". Saban. March 29, 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  8. ^ Univision
  9. ^ "Univision sale approved, Abercrombie & Fitch to replace it on the S&P 500," accessed March 29, 2007.[dead link]
  10. ^ "Univision's new ownership takes over," Los Angeles Times, March 30, 2007.
  11. ^ Ng, Serena; Sender, Henny (June 26, 2007). "Behind Buyout Surge, A Debt Market Booms". The Wall Street Journal. 
  12. ^ San Jose Mercury News
  13. ^ "'La Fea' Makes Ratings History for Univision," Variety.
  14. ^ "Democratic presidential hopefuls hold TV debate in Spanish," Agence France-Presse.
  15. ^ Miami Herald[dead link]
  16. ^ Variety http://weblogs.variety.com/on_the_air/2010/09/for-the-first-time-ever-univision-wins-the-week-in-adults-18-49-.html |url= missing title (help). 
  17. ^ GRUPO TELEVISA Y UNIVISION AMPLIARÁN RELACIÓN ESTRATÉGICA EN LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMÉRICA
  18. ^ "Univision Puts More Heart Into Updated Corporate Logo". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  19. ^ "ABC and Univision Announce New Network's Name". ABC News. February 11, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  20. ^ Byers, Dylan (February 11, 2013). "ABC/Univision reveal name of new channel". Politico. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  21. ^ Univision starting to broadcast in HD
  22. ^ DIRECTV Launches Univision and TeleFutura in Crystal-Clear HD DirecTV Press Release April 28, 2010
  23. ^ Dish To Launch Galavision HD Multichannel News May 12, 2010
  24. ^ PR Newswire
  25. ^ AllBusiness
  26. ^ Shoer-Roth, Daniel and "'Censorship list' bans controversial words from Univision's on-air lexicon." The Miami Herald at Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. June 28, 2004. Retrieved on March 30, 2010.
  27. ^ Grover, Ronald. "Televisa and Univision: Stay Tuned!" Businessweek. June 27, 2006. Retrieved on March 30, 2010.
  28. ^ "Univision telenovelas with a twist: English subtitles". Los Angeles Times. 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 

External links and sources[edit]