Univision to Launch Online On-Demand Network Monday

Univision Communications on Monday plans to introduce its new bilingual online network UVideos, which will provide on demand programming and a social TV experience on a variety of devices.

The site switches from Spanish to English, depending on the users preference. When English is chosen, headings and meta data appear in English and content appears with subtitles, enabling English speakers to consume novellas and other content from the Univision broadcast network as well as cable channels Galavision and Telefutura.

UVideos is free to the consumer and ad supported, with top TV spender Procter & Gamble among the charter sponsors.

"We do serve both English and Spanish ads, said Scott Levine, VP of video products for Univision. " Right now what you're seeing is mostly Spanish advertising but over time you'll start seeing us put in more English advertising when you're in English mode and more Spanish advertising in Spanish mode."

The site also supports TV Everywhere. Users who sign in and authenticate that they are a subscriber to a multi-channel distributor can get additional content. Dish Network is signed on at launch, with Cablevision Systems, AT&T, Verizon and Xbox on board, according to Univision.

Univision will begin a major consumer marketing push for UVideos on Oct. 29. By then Univision expects to roll out apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. An Xbox app is expected in late November.

"The whole UVideos experience is completely cross-platform, so what you see is the same experience on an iPad, the same experience on an iPhone, on Android, on an Xbox, optimized for those platforms," Levine said. "UVideos is Univision in your hand. Where ever you are, whenever you want it."

The platform will have about 1,500 hours of long form programming available and about 100 short form clips a day. Live programming is not yet available on the digital platform.

"This is the next big step for Univision," Levine said. "For the first time, Univision is taking the best storytelling, the best daytime programming, the best of who we are and putting it up online."

Univision believes that UVideos offers one of the most comprehensive social experiences available everywhere. Users can use network to comment on shows in real time, or if they're watching on demand, UVideos will synch comments to when the show was originally aired. "We're calling it spoiler free TV," Levine said.

Users can sign in to UVideos using Facebook or Twitter and their comments will appear on those platforms with links to programming to encourage people seeing those comments to come back to the UVideos experience.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.