By Grace Austin

ABC has recently announced efforts to create a multi-platform, English-language, Hispanic-audience news channel, which will launch in 2013. Partnering with Univision, the target audience is bilingual and English-dominant Hispanic markets. It will deliver news content focused on lifestyle, entertainment, and health-related issues of importance to Hispanics.

This move reflects the growing market for programming geared towards the Hispanic/Latino population. This is only expected to grow, as Hispanics will represent 30 percent of the total population by 2050.

“It is to be expected. With American Latinos now 16.5 percent of the population, consuming at the rate of over $1 trillion a year, with the highest birth rate, youngest population, and the biggest consumer of films, television, radio, and cell usage, proportionally speaking, we are gold for those entrepreneurs launching new channels in Spanish or English,” said President & CEO of National Hispanic Media Coalition Alex Nogales.

Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal and is also the largest U.S. cable provider, has agreed to add 10 independently owned channels over the course of several years, with eight of them being owned by Hispanic or black individuals. Two of these individuals include Magic Johnson and Sean “Diddy” Combs. The Hispanic channels set to launch include El Rey, an entertainment network, and BabyFirst Americas, a Hispanic educational network for babies and children.

Fox News, not to be outdone, has also recently launched a Spanish-language television network, MundoFox, in collaboration with Colombian media company RCN. Fox News previously launched Fox Deportes (in 1996), and Utilisima (directed at women and created in 2008), both Spanish-language channels.

Meanwhile, Univision has added Univision tlNovelas, a channel devoted solely to hugely popular telenovelas, and Univision Deportes, to rival ESPN Deportes and Fox Deportes. Other bilingual networks include MTV’s tr3s, directed at both bilingual Latinos and non-Latino Americans ages 12-34, which launched more than six years ago.

Media companies are scrambling to capitalize on the buying power of Hispanic/Latinos, largely considered an untapped market. Television advertising expenditures in the Hispanic market are only expected to increase with the growing population. Nielsen has recently reported that the purchasing power of Hispanics will swell to $1.5 trillion in 2015. Analysis by the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) further solidifies the significance of the Latino market. The study, published last year, found that there is a strong, positive relationship between the percentage of overall ad spend to Hispanic media and a company’s revenue growth.