ABC and Univision on Hispanics

ABC News has announced a plan to create a new platform aimed at Hispanics in the United States in a joint effort with Univision. The new effort is expected to encompass media across several platforms based on television but including social media and web platforms. The television platform is expected to be launched in 2013 but the initial properties may be announced as early as this Summer.

The new network will be staffed by journalists and support staff from both ABC and Univision. A statement from ABC today said that editorial coverage on the network will focus on issues most important to the Hispanic audience. Those identified by the network were immigration, healthcare, the economy and more. The platform will not just be a news network and will also focus on entertainment and lifestyle programming.

The move shows clearly the increasing influence of the Hispanic population in the United States commercial markets. Hispanics are the largest growing population in the country and it is becoming clearer to enterprises that focusing on the market is a path to commercial success. There are now more than 50 million Hispanics in the US. The market is currently untapped in many respects and the move by ABC reflects a growing interest in catering to it.

As the market grows it seems obvious that companies will increasingly try to diversify in response to changes in demographics. The media industry is often the first to change as it is generally the most vulnerable to cultural and demographic changes. Univision has been taking advantage of the lack of interest in the market from major American networks since its inception in 1955. Times are changing and along with them enterprise must change. This news from ABC is probably the first of many similar moves major media providers will make in the coming years as the audience continues to change.

ABC News is part of the Disney-ABC Television Group which is the television property of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS). With this initial move it can be expected that more among the nation’s large media conglomerates will take to providing programming directly aimed at the Hispanic Demographic. Disney’s main competitors include Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB), Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) and in the television and news market CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS). The major competitor in the Hispanic market will be Univision’s own programming and that of the Univision affiliate network Entravision Communication (NYSE:EVC).