Mendiola Discusses Rebranding of mun2 to NBCUniverso

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FocusOn Television

There are big changes coming to the landscape of television with the loss of mun2 and the launch of NBCUniverso in its place. This well timed rollout, just hours before its airing of the Super Bowl on February 1st,  meant a new logo, reworked programming grid and, of course, the presence of the NBC peacock trademark.

In addition to the branding changes, the new network is shifting its focus to target the 18-34 demographic through sports and entertainment programming.

The network president who has overseen all of these changes, including moving the network offices back to Miami for its proximity to Telemundo, is Rubén Mendiola who joined mun2 as network head back in May 2014.

Rubén Mendiola, NBCUniverso President
Rubén Mendiola, NBCUniverso President

He recently sat down with Media Moves to talk about what he feels will be an “innovative” and “edgier” new network with the relaunch.

Why are you rebranding mun2? Is the Hispanic millennial no longer the audience to go after?

We love Hispanic millenials. They’re very important to us and it’s very important for us to preserve the DNA of the channel. I think there was always this supposition that for Hispanic U.S. you only give them millennial, third generation product, or there’s nothing else. The reality is that our society is a vibrant society that encompasses everyone. So we’re not abandoning the millenials. We’re just evolving with the millenials into where they go in their life.

Why call the new channel NBCUniverso?

The concept of mun2 was that people were living in two different worlds. That you could live in the American and the Spanish world – mun2. I don’t believe that’s today’s reality for Latinos. There’s a tremendous amount of fusion – it’s your universe. That’s the concept of NBCUniverso. That’s why it makes sense to change the name of the channel into this bigger universe. That it’s exciting and where you can find programming like you would watch in English, but that you can watch here with a cultural sensibility.

What’s your vision for NBC Universo?

To be a great modern cable channel. mun2 has done very well until now. It has a size and awareness and it’s a channel that has been a good channel for many years. But the potential be a strong force and voice for Latinos in the United States is there. We’re looking to show more daring programming that can come from Latin America or created in the U.S. I do think we can push the envelope a little. In cable you can, and we’re planning to. We’ll see where it leads us.

How would you define your new programming strategy?

We are more like an old school superstation that has the opportunity to have sports moments. We’ll have series, movies, music events and reality shows that have been a landmark for us. Weekends will be more sports heavy. It’s important to preserve the things that everybody loved about mun2. We love music. We were about music and music personalities. We’re going to continue having that. Our biggest shows have been connected to music or music personalities: Jenni Rivera, Larry Hernandez, Gloria Trevi. We will continue having our music blocks in the morning that are very popular during the week. The edgy, irreverant part, the important part of the essence of mun2, we’re gong to continue having it. But at the same time, we have the opportunity to mark that we’re ready to play and to go bigger and bolder. If you don’t change the way you do things, you can’t expect different results.

To see the rest of the interview click here.

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