So it’s official. There’s now an estimated date for when Univision and ABC’s new joint venture – the Fusion network (they have a name for it too now) – will be on the air. According to the two major US networks by the end of this summer is when we should expect to see Fusion on air. Pero before then look for Fusion to hit the web and probably all of social media in the months leading up to it’s grand inauguration. The question now, very appropriately raised by the New York Times this week, is will this network actually have an audience?
Will Fusion be successful?
If you’ll recall, this new network is being billed as a 24 hour news and entertainment channel for English speaking Latinos in the United States. En efecto it will be one more channel in the pool of hundreds of other selections already out there that will attempt to pull in US Latinos by offering more Hispanic-infused content in English rather than Spanish. It’s the first such venture for both ABC and Univision, pero as some experts are already pointing out in order for it to be successful Fusion will need to pull in more than only a US Latino audience.
“This audience identifies as Americans first,” said Larry Lubin, co-founder and president of Lubin Lawrence Inc., a brand consultancy that advised both companies, to the New York Times. He also stressed that the venture needed to broaden its appeal. “The brand will be a failure if it only appeals to Latinos.”
As far as what type of content we should expect from Fusion here’s what Isaac Lee, president of Univision News, told the Times:
Fusion will broadcast unscripted series and specials, all with a Latino slant. Mr. Lee pointed to series like National Geographic’s “Locked Up Abroad” about tourists who end up in foreign prisons, as the type of documentary series he hoped the channel would do. Extensive news coverage in collaboration with ABC News will revolve around the interests of Latinos. Coverage of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, for instance, would focus on potential Latin American candidates to succeed him, Mr. Lee said.
It still sounds like a gamble to me, but I am honestly intrigued by this new venture. What about you? Will you give Fusion a chance? Do you have any suggestions for the new network? Share them with Fusion here.