Type Broadcast Television Network
Country  United States

Production: Doral, Florida

Availability throughout the United States
Slogan  • Todos estamos con Univision
("We all are with Univision")
 • Estás en Casa ("You are at Home"; used in Puerto Rico)
 • Siempre Contigo ("Always With You")
 • La Casa de Todos ("The House of All")
Broadcast area United States
Puerto Rico
Owner Univision Communications, Inc. 95% and Grupo Televisa 5%
Key people  • Cesar Conde, President, Univision Networks
Launch date September 30, 1962
Former names Spanish International Network (1962–1986)
Official website univision.com
Language Spanish
Sister channel(s) Telefutura
Available throughout the U.S. see List of Univision affiliates
DirecTV (US) 402 Univision East (SD/HD)
403 Univision West
1402 Univision On Demand
DirecTV (Latin America) 168 (via WLII-TV in Caguas, Puerto Rico)
Dish Network (US) 270 Univision East HD
828 Univision West
Available on most cable systems Check local listings
AT&T U-Verse 3002&20

Univision (Spanish pronunciation: [uniβiˈsjon]) is a Spanish-language television network in the United States. It has the largest audience of Spanish language television viewers according to Nielsen ratings. Randy Falco, (CEO as of June 29, 2011) COO, has been in charge of the company since the departure of Univision Communications president and CEO Joe Uva in April 2010.[1] In recent years the network has reached 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 during the summer months due to the network's consistent schedule of new telenovelas all 52 weeks of the year.

Univision is headquartered in New York City, after years of being in Los Angeles,[2] and has its major studios, production facilities, and operations in Doral, Florida, a suburb of Miami. In 2009, another television studio was announced, Univision Studios, to be built in Doral.[1][3] Univision is available on cable and satellite in 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, and Miami, Univision owned-and-operated station (O&O) newscasts are equally competitive with their English-language counterparts ratings-wise.

Univision 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.[4][5] 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.[6]



Beginnings as Spanish International Network

In 1955, Raul Cortez founded KCOR-TV, Channel 41, 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 guru 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 WXTV channel 41 in Paterson, New Jersey, serving the New York metropolitan area. 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 Florida, KDTV in San Francisco, and WSNS-TV in Chicago. In the mid-1970s the network also began to distribute their national signal via satellite, first as a 'super-station'-type feed of KWEX-TV San Antonio, then as a general feed allowing cable television operators to carry the network at little cost on their systems.

Rename to Univision

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 FCC had long wondered (and competitors to SIN had long proposed)that the relationship between SIN/SICC and the owners of Televisa was impermissably tight. Questions were asked and answered and the outcome was that the FCC and Justice department encouraged a sale of the service to a properly consitituted domestic organization. Thus began talks that ended with Hallmark Cards buying the stations, and forming a new relationship withg 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 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), a magazine-styled show aimed at Hispanic women in the United States. At first 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 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 the 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,[7] outperforming its time period competition by 33 percent. Telemundo's Dia a Dia, launched before the arrival of TV Mujer, saw its ratings diminishing.

A model from Sábado Gigante, Jackie Nespral became the add-on host in TV Mujer's last year, hired to sit 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

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 Raul 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—They revamped it, changed the name and the 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-34 in Los Angeles, the company's flagship station, which generated a big portion of the company's revenue. Banojian was then a 25-year-old executive from Univision's New York City headquarters, where he helmed WXTV's (channel 41) newscasts. His outstanding results in Los Angeles positioned KMEX as the first 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.


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. Plans for the network are that Univision will resume broadcast expansion by signing affiliation agreements with new stations in Indianapolis, Indiana, Detroit, Michigan, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Nashville, Tennessee.[citation needed]

In June 2002 it was announced that Univision would acquire Dallas, Texas-based Hispanic Broadcasting Corp., a multiple-station operation specializing in Spanish Radio stations like WADO New York, KLVE Los Angeles, KGSX San Antonio, and KESS Dallas. The approval was long and hard. The acquired group was renamed Univision Radio. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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 and Liberty actually pulled off a deal).

In late 2004, a feud began between Perenchio and the head of Televisa, Emilio Azcárraga Jean.[citation needed] 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 María Celeste Arrarás, and sports announcer Andrés 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.

In 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 Mexico/Ecuador match and the finale of a popular telenovela, along with the English networks having traditionally weak programming that time of year.[8]

On April 7, 2005, Univision held a three-hour tribute concert for 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.[9]

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

On February 9, 2006, Univision Communications confirmed that it was putting itself up for sale. Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corporation, stated that his company was considering buying Univision, but backed off that position.[10] Other expected bidders announced were Time Warner, CBS, Disney, Grupo Televisa of Mexico (under a partnership, due to foreign ownership laws in the U.S.), Bill Gates, and several private equity firms. Tribune Company was rumored to be interested in buying TeleFutura, a subsidiary network of Univision.[11]

On June 27, 2006, Univision announced that it accepted a $12.7 billion bid from a group of private equity investors led by TPG Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners. The investor group also included Madison Dearborn, Providence Equity, and children's television mogul Haim Saban. On March 27, 2007, federal regulators approved the sale.[12] According to the Los Angeles Times, the deal was closed and the ownership change was made official on that same day.[13]

However, Univision's shareholders filed two class-action lawsuits 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 by a winner of a ¡Despierta América! $30,000 makeover contest who alleged that Univision broke its own contest rules. A long-awaited trial, it's expected to start in April 2008, at a Los Angeles court.[14]

Univision continues to gain broadcast penetration and has done so since 2004, with stations in Detroit, Seattle, Portland, Oregon, Minneapolis and Nashville, among many others.

On June 25, 2007, with the finale of La Fea Más Bella, Univision led all U.S. television broadcasting networks, including English-language ones, with a 3.0 rating out of 9 share, which also made the show the second most watched of the week.[15] Later that year, Univision hosted the first Spanish-language presidential debate in the United States at the University of Miami.[16]

On April 5, 2008, Univision introduced a new Saturday morning cartoon block, Planeta U, which features "educational and informative" 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. 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 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 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.

In October, 2010, Televisa agreed to take a 5% stake in Univision, which it can grow in the future, and to extend and expand the companies' long-term program license agreement. The new program license agreement will include Internet and mobile rights and cover key Mexican football (soccer) rights. The agreement will run through at least 2020, but more likely 2025 or later, compared with the previous deal's 2017 expiration.[17]

Univision HD

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 on its New York and Los Angeles affiliates WXTV-DT and KMEX-DT, respectively. Univision's first program to be televised in high definition was the Tournament of Roses Parade, later that day.[18] On January 18, 2010 Univision began airing Hasta que el Dinero nos Separe in high definition, it becoming the first telenovela on the network to be so transmitted. The telenovelas Un Gancho Al Corazon and Sortilegio also began airing in high definition on that date. Most other telenovelas now air in HD as well. All of Univision's 2010 FIFA World Cup coverage was also in HD. Noticiero Univision, Primer Impacto, ¡Despierta América!, Al Punto, Mira Quien Baila, and ¡Viva la Familia! have began airing in HD as well. Some movies also air in HD. DirecTV added the East Coast HD feed on April 28, 2010.[19] Dish Network has been broadcasting the HD feed since May 12, 2010.[20]


The majority of Univision's programming consists of series produced and broadcast by Mexican broadcast network Televisa and Venezuelan broadcast network Venevision, however much of Univision's telenovelas are produced by Televisa. The network's signature program, the Saturday night variety show Sabado Gigante, hosted by Don Francisco, has aired on Univision since 1989; as such, Univision is one of only three American television networks that airs a first-run program during Saturday primetime (Fox and CBS are the only others). Situation comedies and variety shows largely make up Univision's weekend lineup.

Univision does produce a moderate amount of original programming including Sabado Gigante, the talk shows El Show de Cristina and Casos de Familia, the daily morning music video program Tu Desayuno Alegre, the reality competition series Nuestra Belleza Latina, and national news programming including the flagship Noticiero Univision newscast, Primer Impacto and the morning news program Despierta America; Univision also operates its own television production firm launched in 2009, called Univision Studios, which produces original content for the network.[21] 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 that comply with the FCC's E/I guidelines;[22] and also typically airs telenovelas that appeal to teen or pre-teen audiences on early Saturday afternoons. The network also airs some films, generally in weekend timeslots; but unlike Telefutura and Telemundo, Univision does not air Spanish-dubbed English-language films. While Univision largely programs its affiliates schedules in a sense since the network's affiliates air the large majority of its programming, some Univision affiliates 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 had a list of words it edited from programming to comply with United States federal regulators. The words affected had no negative connotations in some Spanish-speaking countries, but had obscene connotations in other countries.[23] 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.[24]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Univision anuncia la creación de Univision Studios - Novedades". Univision.com. http://www.univision.com/content/content.jhtml?cid=2197105. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  2. ^ Miami Herald[dead link]
  3. ^ Miami Herald[dead link]
  4. ^ "Broadcasting Media Partners Completes Acquisition of Univision". Saban. March 29, 2007. http://www.saban.com/html/press/070329.html. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  5. ^ Univision
  6. ^ Ng, Serena; Sender, Henny (June 26, 2007). "Behind Buyout Surge, A Debt Market Booms". The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118282461107748034.html. 
  7. ^ Source: Strategy Research Corporation's (SRC) 1989 fall sweeps performed from May to November 1989
  8. ^ Variety. http://weblogs.variety.com/on_the_air/2010/09/for-the-first-time-ever-univision-wins-the-week-in-adults-18-49-.html. 
  9. ^ Univision's Selena ¡Vive! Breaks Audience Records. Univision, November 4, 2005. Retrieved on June 6, 2006.
  10. ^ B&C Mobile
  11. ^ "Univision Confirms It May Be for Sale". The New York Times. February 9, 2006. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/09/business/media/09network.html?_r=1&oref=slogin. Retrieved May 27, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Univision sale approved, Abercrombie & Fitch to replace it on the S&P 500," accessed March 29, 2007.[dead link]
  13. ^ "Univision's new ownership takes over," Los Angeles Times, March 30, 2007.
  14. ^ San Jose Mercury News
  15. ^ "'La Fea' Makes Ratings History for Univision," Variety.
  16. ^ "Democratic presidential hopefuls hold TV debate in Spanish," Agence France-Presse.
  18. ^ Univision starting to broadcast in HD
  19. ^ DIRECTV Launches Univision and TeleFutura in Crystal-Clear HD DirecTV Press Release April 28, 2010
  20. ^ Dish To Launch Galavision HD Multichannel News May 12, 2010
  21. ^ PR Newswire
  22. ^ AllBusiness
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ Grover, Ronald. "Televisa and Univision: Stay Tuned!" Businessweek. June 27, 2006. Retrieved on March 30, 2010.

External links and sources

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