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NuvoTV secures additional $40 million in financing

August 28, 2012|By Meg James
  • Michael Schwimmer, chief executive of NuvoTV.
Michael Schwimmer, chief executive of NuvoTV. (NuvoTV )

NuvoTV, an independent English-language cable channel aimed at bicultural Latinos, has recruited new investors and secured a new $40 million in financing to develop more original programming.

Two existing investors of the cable television channel -- Columbia Capital and Rho Capital Partners -- have increased their contributions in the latest round of financing. NuvoTV also picked up two new investors, New York-based private investment firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson and Tennenbaum Capital Partners of Santa Monica.

Partners now have invested more than $110 million in the Glendale-based channel. 

NuvoTV plans to use the newly raised $40 million to expand its lineup of original programming, which includes three shows scheduled to debut this fall: "Mario Lopez One-on-One," "The 7 of Clubs," and "Curvy Girls."

"We want to produce more original programming and produce better original programming," Michael Schwimmer, NuvoTV chief executive, said in an interview.

NuvoTV, formerly known as SiTV, launched in 2004. It was one of the first television ventures to recognize the importance of reaching young Latinos in English rather than in Spanish.

However, the channel struggled for traction early on because it is not affiliated with a major network. Its independence gave the channel limited clout with cable operators and it has struggled to increase its distribution.

There also was confusion because the channel's original title was derived from the Spanish word for "yes," even though programming was in English. 

In addition, some advertisers have been slower to respond to the growth of the Latino market, particularly the boom in U.S.-born Latinos who watch English-language TV.

"We have been growing our business, year-over-year, and we've grown our base of advertising clients," Schwimmer said.  "People kind of woke up to the size of this audience following the 2010 census. They now see that not only is the Hispanic population growing, but most of that growth is coming from U.S.-born Latinos."

The channel is currently available in 30 million homes in the U.S.  Dish Network, Time Warner Cable, AT&T U-verse, Verizon FiOS, Comcast and Cox carry it. Schwimmer said the company is working to increase its distribution.

Major media companies increasingly are angling for Latino viewers. This month, News Corp. launched MundoFox, a Spanish-language broadcast network. NBCUniversal has been trying to bulk up its small mun2 cable channel, which is aimed at bicultural Latinos.

Next year, Spanish-language giant Univision Communications plans to introduce an English-language 24-hour cable news channel, a joint venture with Walt Disney Co.'s ABC News.  And the nation's largest cable operator, Comcast Corp., is seeding the formation of another new English-language channel aimed at young Latinos. Hollywood director Robert Rodriguez is backing that venture, El Rey, which is expected to launch late next year.

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