Fox International Channels, RCN TV Group Combine on MundoFox

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Fox International Channels and Colombia's RCN Television Group are pushing toward the launch of a new Spanish-language network this fall.

The joint venture, MundoFox, according to the parties, aspires to bring the sensibilities of the Fox broadcast network to Latino audiences. Officials say MundoFox, which will feature entertainment, sports and news, among other programming formats, is finalizing distribution deals in top Hispanic markets across the country, with an eye toward reaching 75% of U.S. households. RCN is one of the largest producers and exporters of Spanish-language television in the world and operates cable channels throughout the Americas.

MundoFox will represent Fox International Channels' fourth U.S. service, joining Fox Deportes, Utilisima and NatGeo Mundo. Globally, FIX operates 350 channels in 35 nations.

The fledgling network plans to integrate programming from a variety of sources into its lineup. Colombian broadcaster RCN Television S.A., the creative force behind the original Betty La Fea (Ugly Betty) and El Capo, will be contributing, along with FIC, which has produced weekly dramas combining U.S.-style, character-driven story-telling, plus factual and lifestyle programming.

Fox Deportes will also kick in with its exclusive U.S. Spanish-language rights to the UFC, as well as various soccer tournaments. NTN24, RCN's international, 24-hour channel will offer Spanish-language news, analysis, opinion, sports and entertainment news programs from a Latin point of view.

The service also plans to tap product from Shine Group, Elisabeth Murdoch's U.K. production company that owns Reveille in the U.S. and which News Corp. purchased last February. The Biggest Loser, MasterChef,One Born Every Minute, Merlin and The Hour are among its format and programm offerings.

MundoFox also plans to license and commission fare from third-party suppliers.

"Our partnership with RCN is a key step in the launch of MundoFox" said Hernan Lopez, president and CEO of FIC in a statement. announcing the venture. "There is an increasing demand for quality Spanish-language content in the U.S. from both viewers and advertisers. Fox saw similar dynamics in play 25 years ago when it launched the Fox network, and it would be a missed opportunity not to provide an alternative for the 50+ million Latino viewers who currently have limited options in Spanish-language broadcast television. Our partnership with RCN will help us do this and we aim do it in a big way."

Noted RCN CEO Gabriel Reyes: "RCN has provided the main Hispanic networks in the U.S. with much of their primetime content for over two decades. We now plan to maximize our capabilities and bring an increasing variety of fresh and innovative productions directly to Spanish-speaking viewers. I am certain that Fox is the best partner to make this a successful network."

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