Univision Preps 'TV Everywhere' Launch For Trio Of Cable Nets In 2012

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Univision is aiming to launch a "TV Everywhere" service next year with the debut of three Hispanic cable networks geared around telenovelas, sports and news, according to president of distribution, sales and marketing Tonia O'Connor.

O'Connor, speaking at an event Wednesday hosted by the New York chapter of Women in Cable Telecommunications, said the programmer expects to debut an authenticated component alongside its planned launches next year of Univision TL Novelas, Univision Deportes and a still-unnamed news channel.

Univision's Tonia O'Connor

"TV Everywhere is absolutely the focus for our company," O'Connor said. Univision's viewers "want to watch their novelas on the Internet... There's a lot of pent-up demand."

Univision has not announced distribution deals for those networks. The company declined to say whether it is requiring TV Everywhere access as part of those agreements or offering it as a carrot to affiliates to gain carriage.

Univision's TV Everywhere apps will provide access to primetime dramas, news and sports -- primarily soccer -- which largely have been unavailable anywhere except on the broadcaster's linear TV service. The company has the exclusive distribution rights to about 90% of its content, O'Connor said in an interview with Multichannel News at the WICT event.

"Our content has never been syndicated," she said. "We're probably one of the only [broadcast networks] that has not made our content available for free on the Internet."

O'Connor also tipped her hat to Turner Broadcasting System, which has led the TV Everywhere movement and this week launched an ad campaign to promote the service with eight affiliates.

Hispanics are the fastest-growing segment of the American population according to U.S. Census data, O'Connor noted, and said pay-TV providers should be redoubling efforts to reach that audience. "Fish where the fish are," she said.

Moreover, Hispanics overindex on mobile and broadband usage, O'Connor noted, making them a ripe audience for TV Everywhere services.

"Over-the-top providers have shown us that consumers want their content when they want it, where they want it," she said, adding, "It's not like we're jumping into this and we're not sure if people are going to go for it."

Univision is expecting to generate ad revenue from the TV Everywhere apps, whereas video-on-demand has been a disappointment, O'Connor said.

"I really hope TV Everywhere is not what we experienced with VOD," she said. "Operators did not promote it" and there was no advertising model.