Look for a new Spanish-language channel on your television any day now. Utilisima, a lifestyle channel (think
Food Network crossed with HGTV crossed with DIY) that until now has been targeted at Latin America, is launching a U.S. version. The innovative thing about it: Utilisima will air shows with Cuban, Puerto Rican and other Caribbean themes during East Coast prime-time hours, then show Mexican-oriented programming during West Coast prime time.
"A lot of Spanish-language channels treat the U.S. Hispanic audience as one big monolithic mass, but we think that's a mistake," says Hernan Lopez, chief operating officer for Fox International Channels, which owns Utilisima. "But the fact is that you have more Mexicans on the West Coast and more Cubans and Dominicans on the East Coast. No other channel has directly targeted that nuance.
Utilisima went on the air in 1996 (it originally featured programming mainly from Argentina) and has been sporadically available in the United States since 2005. But Fox plans a major push for new distribution with the aim of getting the channel into 50 percent of U.S. Hispanic homes in the next two years. One of the major targets: Comcast in South Florida.