25 million Latinos watch the NFL. Soccer spans the Spanish speaking world. This in mind, ESPN, as part of Walt Disney Co.’s attempts to grow its Latino viewership in the United States, is launching its first bilingual sports news show on US cable television and by subscription. 


On September 26, cable network ESPN2 will air  “Nación ESPN.” The one-hour weekly program features spanish-speakers Los Angeles radio host Jorge Sedano, boxing reporter Bernardo Osuna and ESPN Deportes online journalist Marly Rivera.


The show, presented in English, will allow guests to speak in Spanish if they prefer. Bilingual hosts will then translate or summarize the discussions. Taped interviews in spanish will include English subtitles. 


The hosts all have roots in Spanish-speaking countries: Sedano is a Cuban-American from Miami; Osuna, born in Mexico, was raised in Los Angeles. Rivera lives in New York and is of Puerto Rican heritage. 

“Nación ESPN” has heretofore been shown on ESPN Deportes, the network’s the Spanish-language channel, since 2011. It’s move to ESPN2 is an attempt by the Walt Disney Co. to court Latino viewers, as English and Spanish is spoken in 79% of Latino households. U.S.-born Latinos, in particularly in the millennial age group of 18-35, alternative between spanish-language and English-language programming. Many use similar speech patterns, known colloquially as “spanglish.”

Freddy Rolón, vice president and general manager of ESPN Deportes, said: “Their consumption trends are to pick and choose language both on personal preference, authenticity and which one gives them the most information…We see them going between ESPN and ESPN Deportes. We see a potential for growth with them.”

Advertisers can run commercials in Spanish or English. Airing Mondays at 5 p.m. ET, the show will discuss weekend’s NFL and soccer match results. It’s also the preview for ESPN’s “NFL Monday Night Football” telecast. 

According to ESPN, Latino viewers watch more soccer and NFL games than other sports, though there are baseball hotspots throughout Latin America. Major League Baseball recently opened an office in Mexico City.  ESPN Deportes produced and presented the Spanish-language telecast of the Super Bowl in January.