After a 7-year run, El Rey Network ceases operations on the last day of 2020.
The brainchild of director Robert Rodriguez, El Rey was launched in 2013, aiming to be the first 24-hour English-language Latino entertainment network with original and second-run programming.
Initially, it was one of the first minority-supported channels Comcast announced in 2012 it would launch as a condition of its 2011 merger with NBCUniversal. But a year later, Rodriguez himself showed up at Univision’s May upfront to reveal a change in plans.
His El Rey network would now partner with Univision, which at the time, had aspirations to attract more English-language dominant Latinos and had announced the creation of its own, ill-fated cable network Fusion.
Univision ended its partnership with El Rey in November, exiting its minority position in the cable network for an undisclosed sum.
The network continued to promote its New Year’s Eve lineup – even on social media – on December 31, just hours before its scheduled sign-off.
No word yet on what will happen with El Rey’s original content, whether it will move on to existing streaming platforms or if Rodriguez will venture to launch his own.