Telemundo Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

Telemundo provides Spanish-language programming to Hispanic households in the United States, offering cultural shows, entertainment, and world news. The network’s bilingual captioning also enables English-only speakers to become familiar with various aspects of Hispanic culture.

Based in Hialeah, Florida, Telemundo originated in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in March of 1954 as the television station WKAQ-TV. It was founded by Ramos, ÁngelÁngel Ramos, who also owned Puerto Rico’s first Radioradio station, WKAQ-FM, known as Radio El Mundo, and its major newspaper at that time, El Mundo. Ramos established continuity between his radio and television stations by hiring Rivero, RamónRamón Rivero (Diplo), the famous Puerto Rican comedian and actor, to produce shows for Telemundo. Radio El Mundo broadcasted Rivero’s popular comedy show El Tremendo Hotel, and Rivero created similar comedy-variety shows for Telemundo. Two of his shows, La Taberna India and La Farándula Corona, earned top ratings for Telemundo.TelemundoTelevision;TelemundoTelemundoTelevision;Telemundo[cat]LATIN AMERICANIMMIGRANTS;Telemundo[cat]CULTURE;Telemundo[cat]LANGUAGE ISSUES;Telemundo[cat]COMMUNICATIONS;Telemundo[cat]JOURNALISM;Telemundo

During the 1970’s and 1980’s, Telemundo became known for its Puerto Rican Spanish-language soap operas, better known as telenovelas, and was known as Telemundo Canal 2. Its logo was the number 2 with the silhouette of two upright fingers inside the number; thus, Telemundo was called “El canal de los dedos” (the channel of the fingers). The station changed its logo in 1993 and again in 2000.

During the 1980’s and 1990’s, the Telemundo network expanded as a result of acquisitions and mergers. It was launched in the continental United States in 1987. The Telemundo Communications Group was formed and eventually became part of NBC Universal on April 12, 2002. By 2009, Telemundo owned and managed sixteen stations located throughout the United States and was also associated with one independent Spanish-language station. In addition to its own stations, it had thirty-six broadcast affiliates and seven hundred cable affiliates. The Telemundo network is available to 93 percent of Hispanic households in the United States.

Telemundo is the only Spanish-language network in the United States that offers a prime-time program schedule of its own original programming, including talk shows, news programs, sports, music programs, reality shows, and telenovelas such as Doña Bárbara. The network is also the only one in the United States that produces original telenovelas. In addition to its original programming, Telemundo broadcasts major events such as the Miss Universe Pageant and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City in Spanish and a variety of Hollywood films dubbed in Spanish. The network is the only one in the United States that provides closed captions in both Spanish and English. Second only to UnivisionUnivision in size among Spanish-language networks in the United States, Telemundo also ranks second worldwide as the largest producer of Spanish-language programming.TelemundoTelevision;Telemundo

Further Reading
  • Dávila, Arlene. Latinos, Inc.: The Marketing and Making of a People. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.
  • Rivero, Yeidy. Tuning Out Blackness: Race and Nation in the History of Puerto Rican Television. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2005.

Cultural pluralism

Language issues

Latin American immigrants

Mexican immigrants

Spanish-language press

Television and radio

Univision

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