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|Type||Spanish Broadcast Television Network|
|Country||United States |
Production: Miami, Florida
|Slogan||"Todos estamos con Univisión" ("We all are with Univisión") "Estás en Casa" (Puerto Rico)|
|Area||United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico|
|Owner||Univision Communications, Inc.|
|Launch date||September 30, 1962|
|Former names||Spanish International Network (1962–1986)|
Univisión is a Spanish-language television network in the United States. It has the largest Latin American audience, largely due to repurposed telenovelas and other Mexican programs produced by Grupo Televisa. Joe Uva is the CEO of Univision Communications, Inc.
Univisión is headquartered in New York City, after years of being in Los Angeles, and its major studios, production facilities and operations are in Miami. In 2009, another new television studio was announced, Univisión Studios, to be built in Miami. It is available on cable in most of the country, with local stations in over 50 markets with sizeable Latino populations. Most of these stations air full local news and programming in addition to network shows. Univision's major programming is closed-captioned in Spanish, but unlike main competitor Telemundo, it almost never provides English subtitles .
Univisión was acquired on March 29, 2007 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. The buyout left the company with a debt level of twelve times its annual cash flow, which was twice the norm in buyouts done over the previous two years.
In 1955, Raul Cortez founded KCOR-TV, Channel 41, in San Antonio, Texas. It was the first Spanish-language television station in the United States. However, the station was not profitable, even after a call letter change to KUAL-TV. In 1961 Cortez sold the station to a group headed by his son-in-law Emilio Nicolas, Sr. and Mexican entertainment guru Emilio Azcarraga Vidaurreta. Nicolas had helped produce channel 41's variety shows, while Azcarraga 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 WXTV channel 41 in Paterson, New Jersey, serving the New York metropolitan area. This was the beginning of the Spanish International Network, the first foreign-language television network in the United States.
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 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 famous talk show host, and Mario Kreutzberger, better known as Don Francisco, who brought from Chile his famous program Sábado Gigante. Also, the network began production of its first morning television show. The program was 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). The program was a magazine styled show aimed to the Hispanic woman living in the United States. Anchored by Lucy Pereda during its first year and Gabriel Traversari, the program consisted of a melange of cooking and entertainment segments.
Pereda was replaced shortly after finishing her first year by Mexican-American Lauri Flores who hailed from KXLN-TV in Houston, Texas where she was director of programming, promotions, special events, and public information as well as producer and host of a local community affairs show "Entre Nos". During Ms. Flores' time as host of TV Mujer, the show remained the number one daytime show on Spanish-language television, according to Strategy Research Corporation's (SRC) 1989 fall sweeps performed from May to November 1989, outperforming its time period competition by 33 percent. Telemundo's Dia a Dia, launched before the arrival of TV Mujer, saw its rating diminishing.
A model from Sábado Gigante became the add-on host in its last year, hired to sit in while Flores was on maternity leave -- Jackie Nespral. Jackie became a formal host during the show's final season. TV Mujer begat a series of other programs: "Hola, America", "Al Mediodia" before they were all canceled never really getting the ratings of the original concept.
Univision then decided to expand news programming in the afternoon and launched "Noticias y Mas" with the before mentioned Nespral and a team of three other anchors: Ambrosio Hernandez, Myrka de Llanos and Raul Peimbert. In 1990, Hernandez bolted for the local Telemundo station, WSCV to anchor its evening news programming, being joined by Peimbert shortly after that being wooed to anchor the new Telemundo evening news. Nespral left to join the weekend edition of the "Today" show leaving De Llanos on the anchor desk by herself. Univision had other plans for the moribund show. They revamped it, changed the name, the theme music and installed a weekend reporter to be De Llanos' partner: Puerto Rican born Maria Celeste Arraras who joined the now news program called "Primer Impacto".
In 1993, few months after Jerrold Perenchio had purchased Univision from Hallmark, Mr. Perenchio appointed a young 25 year old executive from its New York City headquarters to Los Angeles named Miguel Banojian who at the time was at the helm of Channel 41 WXTV news, Mr. Banojian was tasked by Mr. Perenchio to turn around the operations of KMEX-34, the company's flagship station which generated a big portion of the company's revenue; The outstanding results privided by Mr. Banojian, resulted in the positioning of KMEX-34 Los Angeles in the first Hispanic television station ever to outperform other english networks including NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox Network. Mr. Banojian was credited to the overall push of Univision and provided Mr. Perenchio a positive improvement of its newlly owned TV network. Such re-organization made by Mr. Banojian, also resulted in the fall of Telemundo competitive edge it had against Univision Network.
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 broadcast expansion by signing affiliation agreements with stations 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 in 2005. Coming soon, Univision will resume broadcast expansion by signing affiliation agreements with new stations in Indianapolis, Indiana, Detroit, Michigan, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Nashville, Tennessee.
In late 2004, a feud began between Univision's chairman, 78-year old entertainer A. Jerry Perenchio, and the 36-year old head of Televisa, Emilio Azcárraga Jean. The dispute was about Univision's continual editing of Televisa's programming, and failure to pay for transmission of Televisa produced sports and specials. The feud intensified to the point where Televisa's most famous stars have been banned from appearing on any Univision-produced shows and specials. In addition, Televisa has filed a lawsuit against Univision for breach of contract. In recent years, Univision also lost several key on air personalities to Telemundo, including long time weekend news anchor Maria Antonieta Collins, tabloid news anchor Maria Celeste Arraras, and sports announcer Andres Cantor.
Univision previously overtook the now-defunct English-language networks UPN and the WB, now the CW Television Network as the fifth-most popular network overall, and in the 18-to-34-year-old and 18-to-49-year-old demographics it sometimes ranks higher than that. More advertising on TV is targeted toward those age groups than toward any other part of the viewing audience.
On April 7, 2005, Univision held a three-hour tribute concert for the influential Latino singer Selena entitled Selena ¡VIVE!. The concert would earn 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.
On February 9, 2006, Univision Communications confirmed that it was putting itself up for sale. Rupert Murdoch, chairman of the News Corporation, stated that his company was considering buying Univision, but backed off that position. Other expected bidders announced were Time Warner, CBS, Disney, Grupo Televisa of Mexico (under a partnership due to foreign ownership laws), Bill Gates, and several private equity firms. Tribune Company was rumored to be interested in buying Telefutura.
Then on June 27, 2006, Univision announced that it accepted a $12.7 billion dollar bid from a group of private equity investors led by TPG Capital, L.P. and Thomas H. Lee Partners. The investor group also included Madison Dearborn, Providence Equity, and children's television mogul Haim Saban — founder of Saban Entertainment. This marks Saban's return to broadcast ownership, as Saban (minus partner Shuki Levy) was 50% owner, along with News Corporation, of the Fox Family Channel (now known as the Disney-owned ABC Family Channel). On March 27, 2007, federal regulators approved the sale. According to the Los Angeles Times, the deal was closed and the ownership change was made official on that same day.
However, Univision's shareholders filed two class-action lawsuit against the company and its board members to stop the buyout. One lawsuit claims 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 claims 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 from a winner of a "Despierta America" $30,000 makeover contest for breaking its own rules and cancelling the makeover right in the middle of it. A long awaited trial, it's expected to start in April 2008, at a Los Angeles court.
On June 25, 2007, with the finale of La Fea Mas Bella, Univision which beat all English-language television broadcasting networks with a 3.0 rating out of 9 share, making it the most watched show for the night and the 2nd most watched show of the week.
On April 5, 2008, Univision introduced a new Saturday morning cartoon block, Planeta U, which features E/I-friendly programming 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.
In 2009, the network sponsored a countdown in Times Square, similar to the New Year's Eve event. On the night of June 12, at 11:59 PM (23:59) EDT, the Jumbotron-size screen ticked off the last 60 seconds of full-power analog TV 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 on Univision stations 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 from February 17.
Starting at 12:02 am ET Univison will begin broadcasting in HD (High Definition) starting with New York Afilliate WXTV-DT and Los Angeles Affiliate KMEX-DT at 12:02 am 1/1/2010 and other stations will start broadcasting through out the week after 1/1/2010. Univison's first Full HD show will be the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day. Starting January 18, Univision will begin airing "Hasta que el Dinero nos Separe" in Full HD being the first telenovela of the Network to be transmited in HD. Also the telenovelas "Un Gancho Al Corazon" and "Sortilegio" will also air in HD starting on that date.
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Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (October 2009)
Univision holds exclusive rights to shows from Venezuela's Venevisión and the Mexican powerhouse Televisa. These contracts are key to the network's dominance of the Hispanic market. Mexican series air several months after they conclude in their home market.
- Univision Communications, Inc.
- Selena ¡VIVE!
- List of Univision affiliates
- List of United States television networks
- ^ [dead link]
- ^ http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking-news/story/1369893.html
- ^ "Broadcasting Media Partners Completes Acquisition of Univision". Saban. March 29, 2007. http://www.saban.com/html/press/070329.html. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
- ^ 
- ^ 
- ^ Univision’s Selena ¡Vive! Breaks Audience Records. Univision, November 4, 2005. Retrieved on June 6, 2006.
- ^ 
- ^ 
- ^ "Univision sale approved, Abercrombie & Fitch to replace it on the S&P 500," accessed March 29, 2007.
- ^ "Univision's new ownership takes over," Los Angeles Times, March 30, 2007.
- ^ 
- ^ "'La Fea' Makes Ratings History for Univision," Variety.
- ^ "Democratic presidential hopefuls hold TV debate in Spanish," Agence France-Presse.
- , Univision starting to broadcast in HD
External links and sources
- Official Site (in Spanish)
- Official Site (in English)
- Spanish International Network Historical site (in English)
- Univision, from the Museum of Broadcast Communications website
- Univision Blows Competition Away with Explosive February Sweep Results, a March 2005 press release