Univision Communications Inc. is gearing up for the 2022 launch of its two-tiered, aggregate streaming service, and the Spanish-language programmer has big ambitions.
"Our vision for the offering is to grow significantly over the next three years and offer more Spanish-language content than any other streaming service globally," Pierluigi Gazzolo, president and chief transformation officer at Univision, said in an emailed interview with S&P Global Market Intelligence.
The new service, which will be available across the U.S. and into Latin America in both premium subscription video-on-demand and ad-supported formats, underlines Univision CEO Wade Davis' vision to expand the company's global market share as a Spanish-language programming provider. Univision is already the top Spanish-language programmer in the U.S.
Out of the gate, the aggregate service will proffer some 6,000 additional content hours, including 30 original exclusives, to the 100 channels and 40,000 hours currently available on PrendeTV. Launched March 30, PrendeTV now counts about 1 million subscribers, projected to be at 5 million by year-end, and will serve as the anchor for the ad-supported part of the aggregate service.
Univision expects its $4.8 billion pending purchase of Grupo Televisa SAB, the company's long-time chief programming supplier, to bolster the service's content offerings. Gazzolo said the transaction is on track to close by year-end.
The service will also include content from Univision Now, the company's live TV streaming service that retails for $10.99 per month and VIX Inc, the ad-supported streaming service that Univision bought in February. The service will also include fare from BLIM, Televisa's direct-to-consumer product in Mexico.
Details around the new service, including the brand name, pricing and specific launch dates, will be announced following the close of the Televisa transaction.
The integration plan, Gazzolo said, includes "tapping into BLIM’s current momentum in Latin America following the Televisa-Univision deal close. Our vision is to bring the best and most high-quality content to the nearly 600 million Spanish speakers around the world leveraging this new service."
Gazzolo, the previous president of streaming and studios for ViacomCBS Networks International, said Univision sees streaming as "the last truly meaningful open lane in the global video streaming market."
Already, PrendeTV played a key role during the upfront sales process, Gazzolo said, serving as "another touchpoint" to the programmer’s audience. PrendeTV provided "a massive uptick" and helped the company close its sales process in record time, with significant volume gains overall across key categories, according to the executive.
Gazzolo also said volume doubled among pharmaceutical and tech marketers, and there was strength with telcos, studios and retailers.
According to Gazzolo, sales were buoyed by a shift in focus from marketers to minority-owned and minority-operated businesses. Univision was at the "forefront" of those conversations and saw strong demand for sports, news and tentpole programming and events.
During the upfront, programmers look to sell linear and digital schedules to media agencies and their clients ahead of the upcoming TV season.