Movie streaming platforms are becoming as common as gaffs by presidential candidates. There's Netflix (NFLX - Get Report) , of course, and Time Warner's (TWX) HBO, Hulu, Tribeca Shortlist and Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) Prime, among others.
But according to Univision Communications and Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) there's never been a subscription-based movie streaming service built specifically for U.S. Spanish-language audiences.
On Monday, Univision, which is preparing for an initial public offering, announced it had joined with the Santa Monica-based Hollywood studio to launch a movie streaming platform aimed at "more than 50 million Hispanic consumers," according to an e-mailed statement.
In addition to films owned by Univision, the platform will include Lions Gate's 16,000 movie library, Grupo Televisa (TV - Get Report) , the Mexican media company that produces programming for Univision, and Pantelion Films, a Latino-focused movie studio which is a partnership between Lions Gate and Televisa.
Pantelion owns the rights to more than 70% of the best-selling films from Mexico over the past five years, including Instructions Not Included, the animation Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos, and the comedy No Manches Frida.
The service will be offered through cable-TV and satellite distributors, the companies said, and through Univision's standalone Internet-based service, Univision NOW. The company did not offer additional terms, including the potential price for the platform, or the name of the new venture.
The streaming venture comes on the heels of Univision's recent acquisition of Gawker Media, part of its effort to create new revenue sources to offset the overall decline of viewing at its core Spanish-language television networks. In recent months, Univision took full control of Fusion, a pop culture cable-TV and website that it launched in 2013 with Disney (DIS - Get Report) , and purchased a minority stake in The Onion as well as the website The Root.
Univision CEO Randy Falco is making a big bet on English-language digital platforms that appeal to younger audiences. Three years ago, Univision launched El Rey Network, hiring the popular filmmaker Robert Rodriguez to develop the programming. El Rey is available on Comcast, SlingTV and other platforms.
"Hispanic movie-goers are one of the fastest-growing segments of the entertainment business today, and this platform offers a unique value proposition combining premium content, advanced technology and tremendous accessibility," Falco said in the statement.
The company, backed by private equity firms, Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, TPG Capital, Thomas H. Lee Partners and the Israeli billionaire Haim Saban, may be setting the stage for an IPO.