|Type||Broadcast television network|
(available in most areas)
|Slogan||Vive al Máximo
(Live to the fullest)
|Ibra Morales (president)|
|August 13, 2012|
|Affiliates||List of affiliates|
MundoMax is an American Spanish language broadcast television network owned by Colombian private broadcaster RCN Televisión. MundoMax was originally founded as MundoFox—a joint venture between RCN and U.S.-based Fox Entertainment Group through its Fox International Channels division. In July 2015, 21st Century Fox sold its stake in the network to RCN, after which it was re-branded as MundoMax.
Fox International Channels first used the "mundoFOX" name in 2006, as a branding for the website of the Latin American cable channel Canal Fox. In early 2009, the channel's website introduced a video on demand streaming service for Canal Fox programs in Spanish and Portuguese, which was also branded as mundoFOX (the domain for Canal Fox's website was changed to canalfox.com in early 2012).
The launch of MundoFox as a television network in the United States was announced on January 23, 2012. Hernán López, president and CEO of Fox International Channels, said that the network would cater to "an increasing demand for quality Spanish-language content in the U.S. from both viewers and advertisers." According to 2010 United States Census data, among 309 million U.S. residents, there were 50 million people of Hispanic and Latino heritage (totaling 16% of the population); advertising revenue from the Hispanic/Latino market made up $3.6 billion of the $80 billion (or 4.5% of all ad revenue) in the total domestic market in 2011. López noted that the Fox Broadcasting Company saw "similar dynamics in play" when it launched in October 1986 against established English language networks ABC, NBC and CBS; MundoFox, he added, would seek to replicate Fox's early years while launching against established Spanish language networks Univision, Telemundo and Azteca.
MundoFox commenced programming with a soft launch on some affiliates on August 1, 2012; the network's formal launch occurred twelve days later on August 13. MundoFox was headquartered with 21st Century Fox's other U.S. television operations in Los Angeles, California.
Relaunch as MundoMax
On July 16, 2015, 21st Century Fox announced that it had sold its stake in MundoFox to RCN, giving the firm full ownership. Fox International Channels president Herman Lopez stated that the company was "proud of having started MundoFox with RCN and are confident that they will realize all of the potential of the network."
On July 28, 2015, RCN announced that the network would be re-branded as MundoMax; the new brand took effect on air on August 13, coinciding with the third anniversary of the network's launch. Additionally, RCN announced that it had cancelled the network's news programming; the company argued that news programming was "never part of the plan" for the network. 35 staff members were laid off as a result. On July 31, network president Ibra Morales stated regarding the move that "although we have cancelled Noticias MundoFox, RCN Television Group continues its dedication to bringing quality news coverage to the vibrant and dynamic U.S. Hispanic community".
MundoMax has production and distribution agreements with companies including network parents Fox International Channels and RCN (as well as RCN co-owned NTN24), Fox Deportes and 21st Century Fox-owned Shine Group (which produced the company's first Spanish-language programs for the network). Fox International Channels already produces Spanish-language programming and sports for its Latin American and U.S. Hispanic-oriented cable channels. RCN is one of the largest producers and exporters of Spanish-language television programming, and had previously provided content mainly to Univision sister network TeleFutura; it stopped committing productions to other Hispanic-targeted networks in the U.S. in anticipation of MundoFox's launch.
A signature program format on MundoMax is the "teleseries", which produce fewer episodes compared to telenovelas traditionally seen on Spanish-language television (roughly 80 versus an average of 120), but emphasize action-oriented storylines, diverse locations and increased production values. One such teleseries that appeared on MundoFox at its launch was El Capo, a show produced for RCN by Fox Telecolombia. Once-a-week series are also featured – which air on weekend evenings – including fellow inaugural programs Kdabra and Tiempo Final; the network also airs current and classic telenovelas during the daytime hours (among the initial titles featured on its daytime lineup included Yo Soy Betty, la Fea, the Colombian series that served as the basis for the Televisa novela La Fea Más Bella and the ABC comedy-drama series Ugly Betty, which returned to the network in November 2014). Telenovelas originally aired on the network only on weekdays and in late-night on Saturdays; in April 2014, the network added a three-hour block of comedic and seriocomic telenovelas on Saturday afternoons (which was inaugurated with the network debuts of La Playita, Las Clinicas and the teen-oriented Chica Vampiro).
Until June 30, 2014, MundoFox filled much of its late night and early morning schedule with same-day repeats of telenovelas and teleseries from its daytime schedule as well as novelas exclusive to the late night schedule; the network dropped the overnight and morning repeats on July 1, 2014, replacing them with a mix of Spanish-dubbed and English language infomercials in the 1:00 to 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time slot, giving it the highest infomercial total of any fully programmed commercial television network in the U.S. (MundoFox's nine hours of daily paid programming content surpassed the six hours carried by competitor Estrella TV among Spanish networks, and the eight hours carried by Ion Television (until that network reduced its infomercial block to six hours in January 2015) amongst all networks).
Outside of serialized scripted programs, MundoMax also airs a Sunday morning children's program block that is produced in conjunction with National Geographic Kids and Bento Box Entertainment, "National Geographic Niños", which debuted in September 2012 and is intended to meet educational programming guidelines set by the Federal Communications Commission. Lifestyle programs (consisting of how-to and cooking series) also air on the network during the morning hours, particularly on Saturdays; the network also airs game shows, including 100 Latinos Dijeron (which is based on Family Feud) and the now-cancelled Minuto Para Ganar (which continues to air in reruns as of 2015, and is based on Minute to Win It). The network also airs feature films on weekend afternoons, Saturday evenings and select major holidays (such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day), under the umbrella brand "CineMundoFox," consisting of a mix of films produced in Spanish (mainly those from predominately first-language Spanish-speaking countries such as Mexico) or Spanish-dubbed versions of movies originally produced in English (including many produced by sister film studio 20th Century Fox and its subsidiaries). The network also originally aired Spanish dubs of select Fox series (such as Bones and American Dad!), which were dropped from the schedule by January 2014.
Many of the initial original scripted series that air on MundoFox were produced in Colombia, though the network planned to produce U.S.-based series by its second year at the latest. Even though the network's initial slogan was Americano Como Tú (or "American Like You"), MundoFox's president at the time, Emiliano Saccone, said during its 2013-14 upfront presentation that he planned for the network to increase its "Mexican flavor."
In addition to offering entertainment content, MundoFox operated its own news division, Noticias MundoFox, which aimed to offer content that is conscious of the Hispanic market in the United States, and the diversity and sensitivities of the different demographics that comprise that market. Noticias MundoFox's operations included a Los Angeles-based newsroom and a bureau in Washington, D.C., as well as international news content from RCN Televisión's sister international cable news channel, NTN24. The Noticias MundoFox division was operated independently from Fox News Channel, which produces Fox News Sunday and other news content for MundoFox's sister English-language broadcast network, Fox.
Noticias MundoFox produced a weekday evening news program of the same name, last anchored by Rolando Nichols (formerly of the network's Los Angeles affiliate KWHY-TV), that originated from Los Angeles; two live half-hour newscasts were produced every weekday, one for the east coast and the other for the west coast (originally airing at 6:00 p.m., before moving to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time in 2013) as well as a pre-recorded newscast at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time (which also originally aired at 10:00 p.m. Eastern until 2013), which was lighter in tone compared to the 5:30 p.m. edition. In 2013, the network launched a supplementary news and features program, MundoFox Y Ya!, which served as a lead-in to the flagship Noticias MundoFox broadcasts. In addition to conventional news programming, the network also produces Central Fox en MundoFox (an hour-long late night sports highlight and analysis program on Sundays that is produced by Fox Deportes); it also produced an afternoon entertainment news and talk program, Que No Te Cuenten, which lasted until its cancellation in August 2014.
Under Fox, MundoFox planned to further expand the amount of news programming on its schedule over time; to help bolster its news division, in November 2012, MundoFox tapped former CNN anchor Rick Sanchez, a contributor to Fox News and its Fox News Latino companion website, to present daily contributions to Noticias MundoFox and host several news specials for the network. However, RCN's takeover of the network led to Noticias MundoFox being cancelled on July 28, 2015. All the network's news staff, including on-air talent (with the exception of anchor Rolando Nichols), was fired.
Sports programming featured on MundoMax is produced through Fox Deportes, and includes exclusive U.S. Spanish-language broadcast rights to the Ultimate Fighting Championship and various soccer tournaments, including Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana, UEFA Champions League and other European soccer tournaments.
In the eight months between the announcement of its formation and the network's formal launch, MundoMax expected to have an estimated national affiliate reach of 75% of U.S. households with at least one television set at the time of its launch. By early March 2012, the network reached charter affiliation deals with 20 stations including KWHY-TV in Los Angeles (which serves as the network's West Coast flagship station), WJAN-CD in Miami, KGMC in Fresno and KFWD in Dallas-Fort Worth. These early deals gave MundoFox affiliates in five of the top 10 Hispanic markets and cover at least 40% of U.S. Hispanic households. However, MundoMax's affiliation with WJAN-CD ended on December 28, 2012 with the network's programming moving to full-power station WGEN-TV, which is owned by Caracol Television (RCN's main rival in Colombia) through subsidiary Mapale LLC.
48 stations from MundoMax's initial 50-station affiliate body also committed to developing in-house news departments to provide locally produced Spanish language newscasts to the markets served by the stations, a small number of whom did not have a Spanish language news option on local television at the time of the network's launch (KWHY and WGEN-TV have already operated their own news departments; the former has since shut down its news operations). Some affiliates that do not carry full-fledged newscasts may produce two-minute local news capsules inserted into the network’s Noticias MundoFox national evening newscasts, weather updates and/or air local public affairs programming.
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- Joe Flint (March 4, 2012). "MundoFox makes KWHY-TV Channel 22 its Los Angeles home". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
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- Ed Bark (June 11, 2012). "Manana: KFWD-TV set to become D-FW's Spanish language MundoFox affiliate, ending association with Belo-owned WFAA8". Uncle Barky's Bytes. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
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