By: Christopher Harris
Univision Deportes Network will be renamed TUDN as a result of a strategic alliance between the sports divisions of Univision and Grupo Televisa, two of the biggest Spanish-language sports broadcasters in the world.
Derived from the combination of the “T” in Televisa, the largest media company in the Spanish-speaking world, and the “UDN” in the acronym for Univision Deportes Network, TUDN (pronounced tu-de-ene) represents a massive rebranding of the sports departments at these massive media houses.
Univision Deportes President Juan Carlos Rodriguez made the surprise announcement as part of a number of changes from the network that boasts more than 50% of all soccer viewership in the United States.
For soccer fans in the United States, Spanish-language coverage of the UEFA Champions League, Liga MX, Bundesliga, Mexican national team, Euro 2020, CONCACAF Gold Cup, Europa League and MLS will continue across Univision, UniMas, Galavision and, most importantly, TUDN — the new name for Univision Deportes Network. No date has been announced yet for the official rollout of the rebranding, but it’s likely to happen this summer.
The changes don’t stop there.
Also announced is the launch of TUDNxtra, a digital streaming service that offers coverage of soccer that TUDN has the rights to but aren’t televised. Pay TV and streaming providers can offer subscribers TUDNxtra at no additional charge to consumers. The games will also be available on-demand.
The best way to envision TUDNxtra is to picture the example given by Rodriguez. “Every time we have a UEFA Champions League gameday during the Group Stage, three to four of the games will be on linear television,” explained Rodriguez. “The extra games not televised will be available on TUDNxtra.”
TUDN will also launch Zona Futbol, a whip-around broadcast that delivers the goals and best action as they happen from concurrent Group Stage matches. Top TUDN talent will guide viewers from game to game across the continent with key context and expert analysis.
Subscribers to TUDN through participating pay-TV and streaming services will have access to this wealth of content through the TUDN app on a wide range of devices, as well as through their set-top box, at no additional charge. One major pay-TV provider has already signed on to carry both TUDNxtra and Zona Futbol, with more agreements expected in the coming months. Both services are slated to launch at the start of the 2019-2020 UEFA Champions League season in September.
As a result of the alliance between the Televisa and Univision sports departments, TUDN will be the first-ever soccer bi-national sports network.
Building on the success of Univision’s No. 1 Spanish-language sports network, the flagship TUDN network will continue to present already-popular content and personalities while also introducing U.S. audiences to new top-tier programming and talent.
New content offerings will include:
Acción (Sundays, 4:00pm ET): The top plays and highlights of the week, packed into one hour. A fast-paced highlights-only show that covers all sports and summarizes the week’s can’t-miss action.
+Deporte (Monday through Friday, 3:00pm ET; Sundays, 11:00am ET): A fresh, real-time look at the state of sports from the U.S., Mexico and around the world, including soccer, NFL, NBA and MLB; enriched with live reporting from training grounds as teams prepare for their next games.
La Jugada (Sundays, 12:00am ET): The best weekend sports magazine on television. The place to relive the most important events and news of the weekend, mixed with interviews, in-depth reports and profiles from around the world of sports. Includes sections dedicated to key sports, including soccer, NFL, MLB, NBA and more.
@TUTribuna (Monday through Friday, 9:00pm ET): The sports social media show where fans are part of the action. Top TUDN talent examine the latest social media trends and interact with sports personalities and fans through different platforms.
Versus (Mondays, 10:00pm ET): In-depth discussion that goes beyond the headlines. An agenda-setting sports editorial program that takes fans deeper, and the place where newsmakers come to share their perspectives.
Returning fan favorites include República Deportiva, Contacto Deportivo, Fútbol Club and Línea de 4. In addition to being the Home of Soccer, TUDN will also offer enhanced coverage and analysis of properties like the NFL, NBA, MLB and boxing.
As a benefit of the merger between Televisa and Univision Deportes Network sports departments, more than 20 personalities will debut on TUDN including:
Francisco J. Gonzalez: In addition to serving as head of the editorial board for TUDN, Gonzalez is an influential sports columnist who has covered the World Cup, Olympic Games and all Mexican soccer competitions.
Antonio “Toño” de Valdés: As one of the faces of Mexican sports television since 1978, Toño has called and covered Olympic Games, World Cups, Super Bowls and World Series.
Alejandro de la Rosa: An experienced journalist who spent the first 14 years of his career at ESPN, de la Rosa brings tremendous experience covering both European and Mexican soccer to his new team at TUDN.
Francisco “Kikin” Fonseca: Blessed with extraordinary charisma and two Liga MX championships, Fonseca will deliver compelling analysis of TUDN’s top soccer properties for a range of programs and live telecasts.
Valeria Marin: A newspaper reporter turned broadcaster, Marin joins TUDN after spending the past six years of her career as a leading personality at FOX Deportes. The experienced host and reporter will contribute to TUDN’s coverage of the NFL, NBA, MLB and soccer.
Emanuel “Tito” Villa: A recently retired soccer star, Villa’s career lasted more than 15 years and included stretches in both Liga MX and the English Premier League. Now, he will provide insight into the sport’s top players and teams for TUDN.
Enrique Burak: One of the Fonoteca Nacional’s “Voices of Mexican Sport,” the prolific sportscaster has been calling the world’s biggest sporting events for more than 35 years. His repertoire ranges from the NFL, MLB and NBA to sports like track and field, gymnastics, diving, swimming, bowling, tennis and rowing.
Guillermo “Memo” Schutz: A versatile host, commentator and journalist, Schutz will contribute to TUDN’s coverage of multiple sports, including soccer and boxing. He has worked World Cups, Olympic Games, Pan-American Games, Super Bowls, World Series and NBA Finals.
Moises Muñoz: A recently retired veteran of Liga MX and the Mexican National Team, Muñoz joins TUDN after covering the 2018 FIFA World Cup for FOX Sports. The bilingual broadcaster will provide analysis and commentary in both Spanish and English.
Oswaldo Sanchez: As one of the top Mexican goalkeepers of all-time, Sanchez will bring unmatched credibility to his analysis of top soccer properties, including Liga MX and the Mexican National Team.
Familiar faces under the TUDN brand will include Adriana Monsalve, Lindsay Casinelli, Enrique Bermudez, Luis Omar Tapia, Ivan Zamorano, Marc Crosas, Diego Balado, Francisco Villa, Hristo Stoichkov, Tony Cherchi, Ana Caty Hernandez and Lucia Villalon and many more.
The TUDN brand and channel will debut in Mexico simultaneously as part of a collaboration between the sports divisions of Univision and Grupo Televisa.
Last but not least, UniMas will relaunch next week, and will be reprogrammed to focus more on live sports, live news, etcetera. “We’re making a commitment to invest in this network like never before,” said a spokesperson for Univision.
Source: World Soccer Talk