The new 24-hour news and entertainment channel for the Latino market in the US is to be called Fusion. Its backers are Univision and ABC News, a unit of the Walt Disney Company, and it has carriage deals covering at least 20 million homes.
Fusion will have its premiere late this summer as the first cable channel aimed to appeal specifically to English-speaking Latinos. Its reception will test whether second-generation Latinos want to watch television programming specifically for them.
The 50-50 owned channel underscores the growing influence of a booming population over media companies, marketers and politicians. In 2010, there were 50.5 million Hispanics living in the US, up from 35.3 million a decade ago, according to the 2010 census. That number is expected to grow by 167 per cent by 2050, compared with an estimated 42 per cent growth rate for the nation’s total population.
“The level of growth of Hispanics in the United States is huge, and that growth is not coming from immigration,” said Isaac Lee, the president of Univision News.