Formerly known as mun2 (Telemundo’s 2nd channel), NBC Universo officially launched its new channel and programming lineup on Superbowl Sunday. All part of a brand revamp, it targeted Feb. 1st as it had exclusive rights to broadcast the game in Spanish (not surprisingly, as NBC, their parent company, carried the game). While the all Spanish-language channel is available via various TV providers, only DIRECTV premiered it in HD. NBC Universo is still in active discussions with DISH and the top cable providers about shifting to HD, so expect upgrade announcements over the course of the year. So, what can NBC Universo subscribers expect? Here’s a quick look…
NFL – before the Superbowl, mun2/NBC Universo’s first NFL simulcast was the 2014 Thanksgiving game between the Seahawks and 49ers. Having passed that first test with flying colors AND nailing the Superbowl broadcast, expect plenty of more NFL action on NBC Universo in 2015 and beyond.
Nascar – when it comes to stock car racing, Spanish may not immediately come to mind, but that’s slowly changing. As Nascar looks to expand into new regions and demographics, they’re hoping to find a receptive Latino audience, especially in the southern part of the U.S. Spanish simulcasts of Nascar races already kicked off during their 2015 season and they’ll likely continue for at least a couple more years, regardless of ratings (of course, if it does well, chances are it’ll expand into other racing leagues: IndyCar, GoCart, etc.)
Soccer – of course, this has been and will be Telemundo’s bread and butter. Since most of the Mexican league games are already broadcast on the parent channel, Telemundo (in Spanish), NBC Universo will probably continue to carry the English version of the games. I’ve actually watched a few of the games in English and while there is some disconnect between the Spanish graphics and halftime show, overall, it’s a pretty solid experience. NBC Universo will also likely continue to carry some English Premier League games as well (in Spanish).
Here are just a few of the more popular original shows found on NBC Universo:
2RSLVJ – Tú Eres El VJ is an MTV meets call-in request show… get your fill of Spanish rock and dance videos.
Beauties & The Boss a reality show showcasing a modeling agency and all the drama therein.
18 & Over – a pop culture, interview show of the biggest names in Latino entertainment.
RPM Miami – a drama that follows an Iraqi war veteran and his travails upon returning home.
As with most basic cable networks, mun2, and now NBC Universo, has shifted pretty heavily towards reality programming…primarily for its lower budget demands and efficient scheduling. Ratings seem to have followed suit, so don’t expect that shift to change anytime soon.
As you can surmise from the name change, NBC Universo is going to be a major point of interest for its parent company, NBCUniversal. Over the past few years, NBC has invested a ton of time and money into sports programming and from the looks of it, NBC Universo will be its simulcast outlet for all major sporting events. Along with a budding programming line-up, there’s plenty of promise at NBC Universo, both short and long-term. If you dig your Spanish-language TV, consider adding this channel to your DVR schedule.