Univision Dips Its Toes Into English

News Twitter Feed, Soccer Site Aim for Anglophone U.S. Hispanics

By Laura Martinez — Multichannel News, 3/16/2011 10:48:19 AM

Univision might be having a change of heart about the English language.

Univision NewsThe company, which for decades has embraced a Spanish-only policy, seems to be dipping its toes into English-language content online.

Why? According to the 2010 Census, more than 60% of the nation’s roughly 50 million Hispanics — some 30 million in total — are U.S.-born. And that native population will only grow.

In a yet-to-be-publicized move, Univision in early March launched an English-language Twitter feed for a new news website, @Univision_News, delivering updates in English to an estimated 4,000 followers. [The network's Spanish-language news Twitter feed has an estimated 90,000 followers.]

But the Twitter feed was only the latest in a series of quiet moves to cater to an English-dominant audience. On Feb. 26, Univision.com launched an English-language soccer website, for which the company declined to disclose any details, asde from hinting that a formal announcement is expected in the upcoming months. The English-language soccer site complements news stories with online polls, soccer pics and a virtual soccer store.

In a news update posted on Feb. 26 by Univision.com staff, the site promised to bring English-language audiences “all the top news for U.S. soccer and MLS, European Soccer, and top Mexican and Latin American Leagues.” It then encouraged users to join Univision Soccer’s dedicated Facebook page.

“We are increasingly using social and interactive media, as well as radio, to further engage with our bilingual audiences in English and Spanish,” a Univision spokesperson told Hispanic TV Update. However, the network made it clear this by no means imply a significant change in strategy.

“We value the importance and reach of Spanish-language television and remain committed to our strategy,” the spokesperson said.