The willingness of Univision at an early stage to provide its product to streaming services that focus on marketing to soccer fans has already worked as a mechanism to increase awareness among English-language oriented fans of what soccer products are available on Univision, UniMas and Univision Deportes. Through services like Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW and fuboTV, Univision has already opened a door to the audience that might represent a large segment of Turner’s target for UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League coverage.
Univision didn’t necessarily openly compete for English-language viewers when they acquired the rights to the Champions League and Europa League. But in the changing dynamic of the television and broadcast industry as well as the new demographic taking hold among millennials, it would be stunning if Univision didn’t make such a play. We’ve seen already with NBC Universal’s Telemundo brand that they’ve embarked on an ambitious effort to win over English-language speaking soccer fans to their coverage of the 2018 World Cup and Confederations Cup.
We remind our readers that while Univision hasn’t announced its plans yet, they will no doubt benefit from Turner’s decision to stick so many games behind a paywall. Just how much they benefit will remain to be seen. But they have an opportunity now to craft their coverage around the segment of the audience that Turner might be ignoring or abdicating. The opportunity that presents itself for Univision might very well be worth seizing as they continue to seek bilingual viewers.