In its bid to gain a competitive advantage over network rivals NBC and Fox, ABC News is launching an English-language cable channel targeting Hispanic Americans.This morning, The New York Times' Brian Stelter reports that ABC's parent company The Walt Disney Company secured a tentative deal with Univision to share a 50 percent stake in the channel, which will incude "lifestyle, entertainment and health-related programming as well as traditional news programming, thereby differentiating it from cable news channels like CNN and Fox News."
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What's interesting about the move, which The Wall Street Journal's Arian Campo-Flores and Sam Schechner reported on in its nascency, is its reliance on expectations about how America's hispanic population will grow and behave in the coming decades. "For both Disney and Univision, the proposed venture would be a bet that consumer spending by U.S. Hispanics will keep growing faster than the rest of the population," they wrote in February. "It is also a recognition that U.S.-born Hispanics, who often speak English more than Spanish, are now fueling Hispanic population growth more than Spanish-speaking immigrants."
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What we know from Stelter's report this morning is that the channel will be based in Miami, where Univision's news operation is headquartered. "The two news divisions will share some news gathering and production resources, potentially allowing ABC to trim some costs," reports Stelter. In an internal memo, ABC President Ben Sherwood wrote, “Founded in 1962, Univision has a deep and important relationship with the U.S. Hispanic audience. By sharing our resources, we will inform, entertain and empower the enormously influential Hispanic American community and many others interested in our programming.” The decision is bolstered by a recent Nielsen report, which projected that the buying power of Hispanics in the U.S. will grow from $1 trillion in 2010 to $1.5 trillion in 2015.