Universo is an American pay television channel that is owned by the NBCUniversal Hispanic Enterprises Group and Content subsidiary of NBCUniversal. The network serves as a companion cable channel to the NBCUniversal's flagship broadcast television network NBC and, to some extent, its Spanish language network Telemundo.
Aimed at Hispanics between the ages of 18 and 49, the majority of its programming – which is tailored toward bilingual audiences – consists mainly of sports, scripted and reality series, and music programming. The network is headquartered in Miami Springs, Florida, while its master control operations are housed at the CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, which serves as master control facilities for most of NBCUniversal's cable networks.
The network was founded by Empresas 1BC as GEMS Television. In 2001, the network was acquired by Telemundo and re-branded as mun2. The network was renamed NBC Universo in February 2015 to align it with Telemundo's sister English-language network NBC. As of February 2015, NBC Universo's programming was available to approximately 39.326 million pay television households (33.8% of cable, satellite and telco customers with at least one television set) in the United States.
In January 2017, the "NBC" brand was dropped from the network's on-air branding; the network is now simply titled "Universo."
|Launched||October 10, 1993|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
|Headquarters||Miami Springs, Florida|
|DirecTV||Channel 410 (HD)|
|Dish Network||Channel 838 (HD)|
|Available on most cable systems||Channel slots vary on each operator|
|AT&T U-verse||Channel 192 (SD)|
Channel 3009 (SD)
|Verizon FiOS||Channel 275 and 1643 (SD)|
Channel 775 (HD)
|PlayStation Vue||Internet Protocol Television|
|DirecTV Now||Internet Protocol Television|
|YouTube TV||Internet Protocol Television|
|Sling TV||Internet Protocol Television|
The network was launched on October 10, 1993 as GEMS Television, under founding owner Empresas 1BC. Cable television provider Cox Cable (now Cox Communications) acquired an ownership interest in the network the following year. The network's programming was aimed towards Latino women.
In 2001, GEMS was purchased by the Telemundo Communications Group (then a joint venture led by Sony Pictures Entertainment and Liberty Media), and revamped its programming format to target younger viewers; it was renamed mun2 (pronounced mundos, meaning "worlds," a pun on Telemundo and dos, the Spanish word for the number "2"), a name chosen with the intent to reflect the "two worlds" that Latino Americans live in.
Its initial lineup included programs from Telemundo's then sister company Columbia TriStar Television (now Sony Pictures Television), including repeats of Spanish language adaptations of Charlie's Angels (Angeles) and The Dating Game that had aired on Telemundo as part of a failed programming revamp in 1998 in an attempt to counterprogram its rival, Univision. In addition, mun2 ran blocks of programming from the Home Shopping Network's Spanish language network Home Shopping Español (HSE) daily from 12:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
The network's most well known series was the candid reality series I Love Jenni, which featured the life of banda/ranchero singer Jenni Rivera. After her death in a plane crash near Monterrey on December 9, 2012, the final season of the series earned the highest season average of any mun2 original program in its history, reaching a total of 5.5 million people across all of its telecasts during the season's 18-week run. It also ranked as the #1 show among all Hispanic cable networks in every key demographic during its Sunday night premiere. The series on-demand traffic increased, with over eight million video streams on mun2.tv, and over one million video on demand views.
On December 24, 2014, NBCUniversal announced that it would relaunch mun2 as NBC Universo on February 1, 2015, to coincide with the network's Spanish-language broadcast of Super Bowl XLIX. The relaunch of the network under the NBC name was designed to reflect the broadcaster's commitment to the Spanish-language television market.
Eight months prior to the relaunching announcement, at NBCUniversal Hispanic Enterprises and Content's upfront presentation at New York City's Frederick P. Rose Hall on May 13, 2014, the company announced that NBC Universo would be revamping its programming. The new line-up would increase its focus on sports coverage (which included the re-organization of Telemundo's sports division as Telemundo Deportes, a branch of the English-language NBC Sports division), primarily in preparation for its broadcast of the 2016 Summer Olympics and its assumption of Spanish-language cable rights to FIFA tournaments (such as the 2018 FIFA World Cup), which began with the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup. In January 2017, the "NBC" brand was dropped from the network's on-air branding; the network is now simply titled "Universo."
Universo's programming consists of sports, original scripted drama series, reality series largely centered on popular Hispanic celebrities, movies, and music videos and music-related magazine programming; it also broadcasts series originating from Telemundo and networks operated as part of sister division NBCUniversal Cable, made up of original series from sister networks Syfy and USA Network, which incorporated Spanish language subtitles. To reflect its audience, Universo does not exclusively air programming in Spanish, airing a mix of shows presented in English, dubbed into Spanish and incorporating Spanish language subtitles, and programs presented interchangeably in both languages.
Music programming on the network during its existence as mun2 usually consisted of a mix of music video in English and Spanish from a variety of genres. In early April 2009, mun2 introduced two new music video-oriented shows called Indie y Nuevo (a program focusing more on independent artists, which has since been cancelled) and The Urban Tip (focusing on R&B, rap and reggaeton videos). In late December 2009, the network dropped its overnight block of infomercials that aired daily from 3:00 to 6:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and replaced it with additional music video programming either in the form of Reventon Mix (focusing on contemporary Latin party music) or Morning Breath (featuring a selection of videos from various artists). In January 2010, the network also began broadcasting a weekly block of feature films on Friday nights.
Through the Telemundo Deportes branch of NBC Sports Group, which superseded Telemundo's sports division Deportes Telemundo upon the current unit's creation within NBC Sports Group in May 2015, Universo broadcasts association football matches from select teams within Liga MX (consisting of home games from C.F. Pachuca), and holds the Spanish play-by-by rights to National Football League (NFL) events by way of NBC Sports' broadcasting agreements with the league.
As mun2, the network served as the English broadcaster of a 2010 World Cup qualifier between the United States and Mexico national soccer teams. In the lead-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Telemundo held the American television rights to televise all Mexican qualifiers from Azteca Stadium, with NBC assigning mun2 the English language rights for the event. The network was made available to almost all cable and satellite subscribers throughout the U.S. as a "free preview" on August 12, 2009, when the game was held, with the broadcast presented by NBC Sports.
As a result of the former Deportes Telemundo reaching an agreement with FIFA to acquire the Spanish language rights to its tournaments on October 22, 2011, mun2 gained the Spanish language cable television rights to select games to the FIFA Men's and Women's World Cup. The deal, which began with the 2015 Women's World Cup and runs through 2026, includes rights to associated FIFA-sanctioned tournaments (including the Men's U-20 and U-17 World Cups, and the Men's Beach Soccer World Cup); the deal was extended on February 12, 2015, to include rights to the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
In January 2010, NBCUniversal announced that mun2 would continue to broadcast Mexican soccer games (under the brand Fútbol Mexicano); most of the games aired to date usually consisted English language simulcasts of Telemundo's Fútbol Estelar broadcasts. In February 2010, mun2 debuted mun2 Sports Arena, a half-hour sports news program that aired on Sunday evenings. Through NBC Sports' contract to televise the Premier League, the network began airing Spanish-language simulcasts of select matches broadcast in English on NBCSN with the 2013–14 season.
On July 23, 2013, NBC Sports announced that Telemundo and mun2 would broadcast NASCAR events in Spanish in beginning in 2015, as part of NBC's new rights deal to cover the second half of the Cup Series and Xfinity Series season. As a prelude to the new contract, mun2 broadcast the opening event of the Toyota Series—NASCAR's Mexican series, at Phoenix International Raceway during the weekend of The Profit on CNBC 500 on February 28, 2014.
Through NBC's rights agreement with the NFL, mun2 carried its first Spanish simulcast of a NFL game, airing a Thanksgiving matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers on November 27, 2014; on February 1, 2015, the rebranded NBC Universo served as the Spanish-language broadcaster of Super Bowl XLIX (which NBC held rights to broadcast that year); NBC had proposed using Telemundo to act as a Spanish-language simulcast partner for years following its 2001 purchase of the network, but this did not occur until the Premier League agreement. It will serve the same role in 2018 with Super Bowl LII.
Universo is the name of a comic book character
Universo may also refer to:
El Universo, newspaper
Universo (Axel album)
Universo (TV network), an American cable network
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