Their commercial certainly is sexy. And, of course, when we all hear there will be another new Spanish-language television network for the US Hispanic market, we can’t help but be a little curious. At least I am. But when August comes around and somebody officially says “let’s get ready to rumble!” – at least in my head that’s how it would go down – will MundoFox really be any threat to any of the Big Spanish-language networks?
Sure, they’ve got pretty legitimate backing, considering the new network is a partnership between Colombia’s RCN and News Corp, the world’s second-largest media group as of 2011, which owns and operates the existing FOX networks. And according to Ad Age Media News, they’ve already garnered the support of major advertisers like Toyota, T-Mobile and L’Oreal, but what about their programming? Can it capture existing Univision and Telemundo viewers? Can it captivate “Americanos como tu“? You know, those of us who are bicultural and bilingual, who can identify both as Latino (from whatever country of origin we can trace our roots to) and American, simultaneously and independently, without even blinking.
I have to say, after reading about the “new” programming MundoFox will be offering, next month, I’m not really impressed. The lineup includes dubbed into Spanish reruns of shows like 24 and Bones, as well as repeats of major hits in Spanish like Kadabra and El Capo. Telenovelas will also be a part of the network’s regular programming – albeit in shorter compilations of 80 episodes instead of the traditional 120. Eventually, network execs say, the plan is to produce original content straight from Colombia, using RCN’s existing studio and production resources. That’s probably when we’ll see any real competition from MudoFox.
In the meantime, here’s what the new network’s president Emiliano Saccone had to say about their programming: “The daily nature of the telenovelas will be critical to any Spanish-language broadcaster for many years to come… It’s not going away. However, in this day and age, if you’re going to ask a viewer to commit to a show five nights a week, you have to win over both the male and female viewers in the house. Long gone are the days when you needed to get the female hooked on the telenovelas and the male eventually gave in.”
Whatever the outcome of this new venture, MundoFox will become the first new broadcast network in the US since UPN and the WB were merged into the CW in 2006. When it is officially launched, MundoFox will have access to 75 percent of US Hispanic households. Well… por lo menos the US Hispanic market is being paid more attention to. Now let’s just translate that into better and more opportunities for our talent as well!