Univision Communications is betting big on an expansion of its
production capabilities with the launch of Univision Studios. Based out of Miami, Fla., the new entity
will be headed by Luis FernÃ¡ndez, who had been president of CorporaciÃ³n Radio TelevisiÃ³n
EspaÃ±ola (RTVE), Spain's
largest broadcasting company. He will report to UnivisionNetworks president Cesar Conde.
The launch signals the Spanish-language media giant's effort to produce
and own its programming. Univision has long depended on Mexican media company Grupo
Televisa for its slate of telenovelas and other programming. In January2009, the two settled a lawsuit after Televisa accused Univision of underpayingroyalties.
FernÃ¡ndez is no stranger to the U.S. Hispanic market or Univision.
He had been managing director of production company Promofilm U.S., and was executive producer of
Univision's first primetime fiction series, Al Filo de la Ley.
Univision Studios will develop, produce and co-produce telenovelas,
reality shows, drama specials and entertainment specials for all of the company's
"The creation of Univision Studios is a transformational step
in the development and growth of our company and an important, natural extension
of our business," said Joe Uva, president and CEO, Univision Communications Inc,
in a statement. "We have an unprecedented opportunity to expand our offering of
quality Spanish-language programming to our loyal audiences not only through our
existing programming partners but by building on our established multi-genre production
track record to create more original productions and co-productions."
We are thrilled to have been able to attract such a talent as
Luis FernÃ¡ndez, who is widely recognized as one of the most accomplished production
executives of Spanish-language media in the U.S. and across the globe," said Conde
in a statement. "Luis' proven track record combined with his impeccable reputation
and strong industry relationships will be instrumental as we take this next step
to expand our abilities to deliver the best programming to our audiences. With his
impressive credentials and Univision's unique understanding of and deep connection
to Hispanic audiences, our new studio division will make Univision an even more
significant force in the development of Spanish-language content in the U.S."
NBU Universal's Telemundo,
Univision's Spanish-language broadcast competitor, launched its studio back in
2005. Telemundo Television Studios has facilities in Miami, Colombia and Los
Angeles and currently produces more than 1,000 hours of programming a year.
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