As the largest Spanish-language broadcaster in the U.S., Univision provides countless hours of news, sports, and entertainment programming each week for free. Now, the network is gearing up to offer its viewers even more content.
Univision Enters Streaming World
According to Axios, Univision will launch PrendeTV, a free, ad-supported streaming service, sometime during the first quarter of 2021.
The streaming service is expected to include both live, linear channels, and on-demand content, and will include up to 30 live, linear streaming channels at launch. Each of the channels will focus on different segments of television broadcasting, including movies, news, sports, and comedies.
Additionally, PrendeTV will feature 10,000 hours of video-on-demand programming from both Univision and Televisa’s libraries that will be exclusive to the streaming platform.
The service will be free but will be supported by ads. There’s no word if an ad-free version will be available for those who want to pay, as other popular streaming services now offer.
While Univision’s biggest rival, Telemundo, doesn’t yet have its own streaming service, its programming is prominently featured on the Peacock service through an arrangement with its parent NBCUniversal and Comcast.
An app for PrendeTV, which translates to “turn on” in Spanish, will be available via that PrendeTV app and via desktop and mobile web.
The idea is something fairly new to Univision with former CEO Vince Sadusky telling Axios that there were no plans for any sort of streaming service less than 14 months ago. However, new leadership, combined with changes in the media landscape accelerated by the pandemic, has led to new thinking.
Just last month, former Viacom CFO Wade Davis’s ForgeLight LLC teamed with Searchlight Capital to acquire 64% of Univision. Televisa owns the remaining 36%.
Davis, who was responsible for launching ViacomCBS’s free, ad-supported streaming strategy, told Deadline at the time of the sale that it was remarkable that there was no “high-quality, differentiated OTT service for this audience that is at scale” and saw it as a huge opportunity.