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ABC and Univision Plan English-Language News Channel for Hispanics

Website Planned for This Summer, TV Network Next Year

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ABC News and Univision are joining forces for an English-language cable-news channel for Hispanics that will give advertisers another opportunity to reach a growing group of consumers.

"This is the fastest-growing demographic in the U.S. and is driving the lion share of growth, making up 16% of the U.S. population," Univision President Cesar Conde said in an interview. "By 2015, one in three people in the U.S. will be Hispanic or of Hispanic decent."

Nielsen recently forecast that the purchasing power of U.S. Hispanics will increase to $1.5 trillion in 2015 from $1 trillion in 2010.

The digital portion of the venture, which includes a website and mobile content, will be available this summer -- in time to cover the presidential campaign. The TV channel is expected to roll out next year. The two media companies, which just signed a preliminary agreement to develop the channel, have not yet embarked on negotiations with cable and satellite distributors, said ABC News President Ben Sherwood. ABC is part of the Walt Disney Co.

The goal is not to compete directly with traditional news networks, such as CNN, MSNBC or Fox News. The 24/7 channel, currently unnamed, will include traditional news as well as lifestyle, entertainment and health-related programming. It is intended to appeal to English-speaking Hispanics as well as those interested in issues affecting Hispanics.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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