Fox Sports En Español will sport a new name come fall: Fox Deportes.
The name change, which will be enacted on-air on Oct. 1, follows extensive audience research, according to Vincent Cordero, the network's executive vice president and general manager, and brings brand continuity to the sports powerhouse. Fox Sports En Espanol bowed in 1996 and now counts some 18 million subscribers, almost one-third of which are Hispanic homes.
Fox Sports had to give affiliates 90-day notice of the upcoming moniker modification. Viewers will see the new logo and other graphic elements come fall. In addition, Cordero, who joined the network on July 1 after serving as vice president of Univision and TeleFutura affiliates in Chicago, said there will be some on-air production enhancements and changes to some of the network's news and talk shows.
"As the No. 1 Hispanic sports brand, we are 100% fan-focused and therefore always seek to listen and serve our audience. We recently conducted extensive audience research in which the majority of the respondents referred to the network simply as Fox Deportes," said Cordero. "Changing the name recognizes that fact, and established greater consistency with the better-known Fox Sports brand and allows for easier cross network promotion and marketing."
Cordero said the consumer research -- focus groups were conducted over the past couple of months -- indicated that the Hispanic fans feel very strongly that coverage in Spanish best allows the passion and intensity of sports to come through, and Fox Deportes provides them with high-quality coverage. The brand revolves around events that Hispanic fans are passionate about, such as the leagues and tournaments already in the network's portfolio, much of which is exclusive.
In other key takeaways, the viewer research recognizes that the Fox Sports and Fox Deportes correlate in other in key areas: viewers expect both to carry the best events; both networks provide excitement that everyone can experience; and they offer a fun and professional atmosphere to enjoy the games.
Asked if there was any hesitancy about the name change, given that ESPN's Spanish-language service is called ESPN Deportes, Cordero said that during the focus group studies viewers repeatedly referred to the service as Fox Deportes.
"We're clearly the No. 1 Hispanic [sports] brand bar none; the marketplace is already calling us Fox Deportes," he said.
Cordero believes there is a lot of opportunity for growth for the service, both within the U.S. Hispanic universe, as well as the general marketplace. "There will be continued expansion on both fronts over time," he noted.
Currently, FSE boasts offers than 2,100 hours of live and exclusive programming annually, including premier soccer action like Fútbol Liga Mexicana, Barclays Premier League, Italian Serie A, UEFA Champions League, Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana; coverage of the Major League Baseball's regular season, All-Star Game, National League Championship Series and World Series; championship boxing; and UFC and mixed-martial arts across four media platforms.