NuvoTV Gets $40 Million to Make English Shows for Latinos

NuvoTV, a cable network that airs English-language shows tailored for Hispanic audiences, said it raised $40 million from investors to produce more programming and pay for marketing.

The funding is from current investors Columbia Capital LLC and Rho Capital Partners Inc., and new investors Veronis Suhler Stevenson LLC and Tennenbaum Capital Partners LLC, Los Angeles- based NuvoTV said today in a statement. Other financial details weren’t disclosed.

NuvoTV, founded in 2004, needs programming that TV studios aren’t already creating on their own, Chief Executive Officer Michael Schwimmer said in an interview. U.S. Hispanic viewers, the majority of whom watch Engligh-language TV, are seeking shows with Latino actors and scenarios that better reflect their lives, he said.

“There remains a real unmet need for culturally relevant programming for an English-speaking Hispanic audience,” Schwimmer said. “There’s an enormous amount of English-language consumption by Latinos. It’s the fastest growing segment by far, there’s none even close.”

Other media companies are targeting the same audience. Walt Disney Co. (DIS), the world’s biggest media company, and Univision Communications Inc., the biggest Spanish-language broadcaster in the U.S., announced plans in May to start an English-language cable-news channel for Hispanic audiences by the end of the year.

Scripted Shows

NuvoTV displayed six new shows at the annual upfront meetings with advertisers in May, in preparation for the TV season that starts next month, Schwimmer said. About half the network’s schedule is original programming and the channel plans to invest in scripted shows, he said.

The network’s biggest advertisers include Verizon Wireless, State Farm insurance, General Motors Co. (GM) vehicles, Burger King (BKW) and Toyota, he said. Marketers will spend more to reach the Hispanic audience, Schwimmer said.

NuvoTV is available in 30 million U.S. homes through pay-TV systems operated by Dish Network Corp. (DISH), AT&T U-verse, Verizon FiOS, Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), Cox Communications Inc. and Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) The network is working on a significant distribution agreement that may be announced soon, Schwimmer said.

None of the investors owns a controlling stake, said Schwimmer, who said he oversees NuvoTV’s five-member board.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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