Nat Geo Says ‘Bienvenidos’ to Hispanic Network

Fox Networks this summer will launch Nat Geo Mundo, a Spanish-language extension of its flagship National Geographic Channel brand.
The network will go live on July 1 in approximately 4 million homes, via distribution agreements it has lined up with Cox Communications, DISH Network and Verizon’s FiOS TV.
At launch, Nat Geo Mundo will offer a slate of programs culled from its established international siblings; moreover, some series that originated on NGC will be retooled for a Hispanic audience.  
Among the NGC series set to get the Mundo treatment are The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan and Mega Structures.
Nat Geo Mundo will also run freshly commissioned and acquired original series and specials.
The rollout comes on the heels of the 2010 Census, the results of which underscore the power of the Hispanic demographic. Latinos now represent one in six Americans, or nearly 50.5 million in all, up 43 percent from around 35.3 million in 2000.
“Nat Geo Mundo will seek to inspire U.S. Latino families in their pursuit of prosperity, by expanding their horizons through entertainment about the world that surrounds them,” said Hernan Lopez, president and CEO of Fox International Channels. “The channel will provide hundreds of hours of top-notch Spanish-language programming for forward-thinking Latino families who want smart and innovative entertainment.”

Lopez oversees the newly created Fox Hispanic Media group, a three-pronged unit that includes Fox Deportes, the female-targeted startup Utilísima and Nat Geo Mundo. Fox Global Networks, a unit of Fox Networks, manages affiliate sales and marketing for the group.
Utilísima launched in July 2010 and is available in 4 million homes, roughly half of which are occupied by consumers whose primary language is Spanish.
As senior vp, Fox Networks, Sean Riley oversees the distribution efforts of Fox Global Networks. He characterized the Fox Hispanic Media group as “a one-stop shop for distributors that will enable them to better serve this fast-growing and crucial segment.”
For the better part of the last 15 months Riley has been talking up Nat Geo Mundo with cable and satellite TV operators. Thus far, his efforts have been trained on landing master agreements with the MSOs and then working out the most appropriate markets in which to launch the channel.
“The fact is, there are Spanish-language tiers on every system in the country,” Riley said. “In the markets with a higher penetration of Hispanic households, we’re much more likely to be offered as part of a digital-basic package.”
Riley did not disclose any details about the affiliate fees he’s negotiated for carriage of Nat Geo Mundo and Utilísima. Per SNL Kagan data, Fox Deportes takes in 20 cents per subscriber per month. The sports net reaches 18 million homes, of which one-third are Hispanic.
“We’re selling all three together, but it’s not necessarily a case of us doing creative packaging discounts or anything like that,” Riley said.