Univision History

This article was written by Phin Upham

Raul Cortez founded a Spanish-speaking television network in 1955 called KCOR-TV. The San Antonio based station soon changed its call sign to KUAL-TV, but it was not profitable. Cortez knew he had a valuable property, but couldn’t turn it into something profitable so he sold it to an investment group headed by his son-in-law. At the time, the network was on channel 41.

By 1962, the station had managed to begin seeing profits, and the fledgling network decided to expand its service to Los Angeles. By 1968, it offered its service in New York and New Jersey as well. This was the beginning of the Spanish International Network, which was the first network to televise in a language other than English to viewers in the United States.

The network managed to incorporate several small Spanish-speaking networks from across the United States. It bought up brands in Florida and San Francisco, and started a part-time affiliation with a station in Chicago.

Univision managed to become mainstream with a satellite feed of its networks. With the satellite feed, Univision could offer itself to cable networks at a low cost for viewers. The network was sold again to Telemundo in the 1970s, which led to a relaunch as Univision.

Univision claims several top spots in Spanish-language television. It was the first network to produce a nationally syndicated program for American Hispanic females. It is also home to Christina, one of the longest running talk shows in television history.

Phin Upham

About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website.