Estrella Media has launched Estrella News, a 24/7 multiplatform news network, making it the first Spanish-language media company in the U.S. to provide around the clock live digital and streaming news content.
Estrella News is now live on FOX Entertainment’s free streaming service Tubi and the company’s digital .2 subchannels 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The company did a quiet, soft beta launch starting October 20, but didn’t announce the network’s debut until now, after completing technical tests.
Estrella Media has been working to expand opportunities beyond its established television and radio broadcasting stations and recently hired former Sony and Disney executive René Santaella to promote growth and overhaul the company’s digital division.
This has been an extremely harsh year for media companies, many of which have undergone budget cuts and layoffs, including 24/7 network CNN. So why attempt launching a news network under these conditions?
“Amidst the global pandemic, social issues and political climate, we realized that there was no digital platform for Spanish-language news that was easily accessible on all devices. We were inspired to make it happen and we did it,” states Santaella. “News is an important part of our community. Our audience wants to keep up, stay informed and be in the know. Making it available on all platforms that are ‘in culture’ and where our viewers already are makes sense.”
The digital network will tap into Estrella TV’s existing content and resources. It will broadcast local, national, entertainment and sports news programming from its Los Angeles, Dallas and Miami stations, as well as produce new original in-studio news shows that will not run on Estrella TV and will follow the cable news wheel format, with shows airing several times throughout the day. It will also capitalize on its exclusive Spanish-language broadcast partnerships with MLS’s Los Angeles Football Club and the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers.
The company says it has hired more reporters, producers, anchors for Estrella News, which will feature its team of U.S. and Latin America-based journalists. The network will cover the latest news in the United States, as well as Mexico, Central and South America.
Santaella says the launch was strategic for the company and its ad partners. “We all believed it was an opportunity to deliver value to our mutual audiences. It serves as a compelling reason for our viewers to come back regularly.”
He says it’s too early to share any numbers, but acknowledges there is a clear financial incentive for Estrella Media to expand into OTT, now a key part of its overall strategy.
“It is incredibly important. The consumer is digital, so we need to be where they are already and will continue to be,” says Santaella. “We create and produce thousands of hours of original programming, news, sports and social content at our studios, and we have an expert ad sales team selling cross-platform solutions to brands navigating the Spanish-language market.”
Estrella News will soon be available on the Roku Channel and Samsung’s TV Plus. Santaella is working to get Estrella Media’s new network on as many top OTT platforms as possible to widen its reach.
“We hope to reach out to our audience on all platforms.”