Univision's PrendeTV Pushes Into Spanish-Language Streaming with a Free Service. It Has Competition.

Breanna De Vera

Breanna de Vera is dot.LA's editorial intern. She is currently a senior at the University of Southern California, studying journalism and English literature. She previously reported for the campus publications The Daily Trojan and Annenberg Media.

Univision's PrendeTV Pushes Into Spanish-Language Streaming with a Free Service. It Has Competition.

Under new leadership, Univision is pushing into streaming with PrendeTV, a free Spanish-language streaming service expected to launch this quarter. And with so many new entrants into the space, it will face tough competition.

PrendeTV boasts that it's the only entirely Spanish platform, with even its library menu written in Spanish.

At its launch, PrendeTV will offer over 30 channels and 10,000 hours of ad-supported streaming, the company announced this week. Univision has yet to announce a launch date but has confirmed that titles "Nosotros Los Guapos," "Strawberry Shortcake," "Walking Tall," "Amar A Muerte," "Love Nature" and "Lo Mejor De Liga MX" will be offered on PrendeTV.

Telemundo, another American Spanish-language network and Univision's largest competitor, offers some of its programming on Peacock, NBCUniversal's streaming platform. But it doesn't have an exclusive Spanish language platform. Meanwhile, ViacomCBS' Pluto TV, Discovery's Vix and Fox's Tubi services all also offer Spanish-language media catered to American audiences.

"The most important thing is that [PrendeTV] has been built from the ground up for the U.S. Hispanic," said Univision Chief Digital Officer Sameer Deen. "What we see as an opportunity is that the U.S. Hispanics are really underrepresented and underserved in the streaming marketplace. We are really taking the time, the energy and bringing all our expertise, to build a product that is 100% in Spanish language, in-culture and really offers a unique and compelling user experience."

Latino households make up a large portion of streaming video-on-demand subscriptions, according to a Nielsen report on Latino cultural connectivity. Seventy-eight percent of Latino households have at least one streaming video-on-demand subscription, compared to less than three-quarters of the total U.S. population.

"This move is a validation that there's a growing market [for Spanish-language media] in general," said Alejandro Rojas, the director of applied analytics at Parrot Analytics. "Spanish spoken content is actually increasing in demand. Overall, it's actually growing faster than English speaking content, though on a much smaller scale."

Late last year, Univision was acquired by Grupo Televisa, Searchlight Capital Partners and ForgeLight, an investment firm founded by Wade Davis, the former chief financial officer of Viacom and Univision's chief executive.

"The announcement of PrendeTV within two weeks of closing our acquisition of Univision underscores our focus and commitment to rapidly driving the transformation and growth of the company," said Davis in a statement.

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Derek Jeter’s Arena Club Knocked a $10M Funding Round Right Out of the Park

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Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

sports trading cards
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Sports trading card platform Arena Club has raised $10 million in Series A funding.

Co-founded by CEO Brian Lee and Hall of Fame Yankees player Derek Jeter, Arena Club launched its digital showroom in September. Through the platform, sports fans can buy, sell, trade and display their card collections. Using computer vision and machine learning, Arena Club allows fans to grade and authenticate their cards, which can be stored in the company’s vault or delivered in protective “slabs.” Arena Club intends to use the new cash to expand these functions and scale its operations.

The new funding brings Arena Club’s total amount raised to $20 million. M13, defy.vc, Lightspeed Ventures, Elysian Park Ventures and BAM Ventures contributed to the round.

“Our team is thankful for the group of investors—led by M13, who see the bright future of the trading card hobby and our platform,” Lee said in a statement. “I have long admired M13 and the value they bring to early-stage startups.”

M13’s co-founder Courtney Reum, who formed the early-stage consumer technology venture firm in 2016 alongside his brother Carter Reum, will join Arena Club’s board. Reum has been eyeing the trading card space since 2020 when he began investing in what was once just a childhood hobby.

The sports trading card market surged in 2020 as fans turned to the hobby after the pandemic brought live events to a standstill. Since then, prices have come down, though demand remains high. And investors are still betting on trading card companies, with companies like Collectors bringing in $100 million earlier this year. Fanatics, which sells athletic collectibles and trading cards, reached a $31 billion valuation after raising $700 million earlier this week. On the blockchain, Tom Brady’s NFT company Autograph lets athletes sell digital collectibles directly to fans.

As for Arena Club, the company is looking to cement itself as a digital card show.

“Providing users with a digital card show allows us to use our first-class technology to give collectors from all over the world the luxury of being able to get the full trading card show experience at their fingertips,” Jeter said in a statement.