Thursday's announcement comes eight months after NBCUniversal launched Telemundo Streaming Studios to produce shows for various streaming platforms. Based in Miami, the studio started with 35 projects in development, including "El Marginal," which has been popular on Netflix.
Telemundo recognized that, in a more competitive Spanish-language market, shows must have higher production values than the soapy telenovelas that have long run on TV.
Telemundo Streaming Studios will provide content for Tplus.
The competition for Latino viewers is steep. Last year, Telemundo arch-rival Univision launched PrendeTV, a free, ad-supported streaming Spanish-language service for the U.S. Hispanic market. Netflix is spending more than $200 million a year to produce content in Mexico. Walt Disney Co., which launched Disney+ in Latin America in late 2020, has said it plans to make 70 original programs for the region.
"As the #1 producer of scripted Spanish-language content in the U.S., we are tapping into our deep production expertise and understanding of our audience to launch Tplus, the first and only content brand at scale focused on serving U.S. Hispanics who feel 100% Latino and 100% American," Beau Ferrari, chairman of NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, said in a statement announcing Tplus.
This is not the first time that Telemundo has experimented with a dual-language strategy to reach Latino viewers.
Years ago, it tried to revamp Telemundo's sister cable channel, then known as Mun2, to appeal to bilingual Latinos. But the company did not invest heavily in the channel, and it eventually was rebranded as a sports channel.
Separately, Univision and Disney's ABC News invested heavily but failed at their experiment to reach young, multicultural Latinos — a cable channel and news service called Fusion. Disney bailed on the money-losing joint venture in 2016, and Univision pulled the plug on Fusion at the end of 2021.
____©2022 Los Angeles Times. Visit at latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.