January 18, 2017
By Veronica Villafañe
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim will be launching a new Spanish-language television network in the United States in an attempt to compete with giants Univision and Televisa.
Called Nuestra Visión (Our Vision), the channel will be launched by Publicidad y Contenido Editorial (Advertising and Editorial Content), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Slim’s Mexican cell-phone company América Móvil and run by CEO Victor Herrera and VP Stephano Herrera.
The company’s strategy is to specifically target 35 million Mexican-Americans - the largest segment of the U.S. Hispanic audience - by offering “100% Mexican content” made by Mexicans. "Because we know their preferences, customs, entertainment and communication needs, we are able to provide customized and authentic content,” CEO Víctor Herrera said in a statement.
Nuestra Visión will feature Mexican films from the company’s library of nearly 2,000 titles, including black and white movies and modern-day productions. It will also broadcast news and sports programming from sister properties Uno TV and Claro Sports.
The channel, which will be transmitted from Mexico, "is currently open to broadcast as a DTT [Digital terrestrial television] affiliates across the U.S. interested in joining them to reshape the landscape of Hispanic media,” stated a company spokesperson.
On Nuestra Visión’s website, the pitch for affiliate partners concludes with "We are a unique and exciting concept that is here to stay and whoever partners with us will be writing history with the most successful Mexican channel ever made!”
Starting a new Spanish-language channel will be a challenge in a market that recently saw the closure of the 4-year old MundoMax, launched as MundoFox in 2012 to great expectations. The joint venture between Fox International Channels and RCN Colombia fizzled due to a lack of ratings, unpopular programming, internal squabbles and poor management. RCN eventually bought out Fox in 2015 and the network went downhill from there.
The "Mexican content for Mexicans" pitch has been previously done by Azteca América, which airs programming from its parent company, Mexico’s Azteca TV. That hasn’t been enough to give it a competitive advantage over big media players Univision and Telemundo, with Azteca América trailing a very distant third.
But Nuestra Visión’s model may give the company a slight advantage. It won’t be saddled with large operational costs, since it will be repurposing content owned by its parent company and won't require investments in infrastructure, as it looks to strike affiliate deals with U.S. operators. The company would not reveal further details on its affiliate and distribution plans.
The announcement of the launch comes on the heels of news that Univision and Televisa are merging their content development and production efforts, reducing costs and working together to better target their television audiences in the U.S. and Mexico.