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Univision, Telemundo, and the Rise of Spanish-Language Television in the United States$
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Craig Allen

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781683401643

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683401643.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Univision and Telemundo

Univision and Telemundo

(p.153) 7 Univision and Telemundo
Univision, Telemundo, and the Rise of Spanish-Language Television in the United States

Craig Allen

University Press of Florida

Period: 1987–1992. A turbulent period begins when Univision and Telemundo launch. Telemundo’s founders are Wall Street “raiders” Saul Steinberg and Harry Silverman. Directed by Carlos Barba, Telemundo at first excels. Formerly SIN, Univision now is controlled by Hallmark, its head Irvine Hockaday. Directed by Joaquin Blaya, Univision counters Televisa’s high fees with two classic U.S.-produced Spanish-language shows: Sábado Gigante and Christina. However, the two networks divide audiences and suffer financially. At Telemundo, near bankruptcy, Steinberg ousts Silverman. Hallmark defaults on Univision’s debt. The first Hispanic Nielsen ratings, needed to attract advertisers, raise hopes for large revenues. However, Univision falls in the ratings when Blaya eliminates Televisa programs and initiates “domestic production.” Preferring foreign content, viewers reject further U.S.-produced shows. Hallmark sells Univision to Hollywood mogul Jerry Perenchio. He names Azcárraga part owner. Both eager to reinstate Televisa programs, largely telenovelas, in the U.S., Perenchio compels Azcárraga to sign a Program Licensing Agreement (PLA) by which Univision will pay Televisa a pittance for programs until 2017. Blaya is outraged. He resigns, becomes president of Telemundo, and stages a mutiny of Univision’s personnel.

Keywords:   Carlos Barba, Irvine Hockaday, Saul Steinberg, Sábado Gigante, Christina

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