HBO plans to launch a Spanish-language multiplex channel, HBO Latino, in the US by autumn 2000.

The new channel is aimed the growing Spanish-speaking audience in the US. According to the network, 19% of Hispanic households subscribe to HBO and Latinos make up 11% of its subscriber base.

"HBO Latino fits perfectly with our on-going multiplex strategy to appeal to multiple segments of our overall audience," said John Billock, president of HBO's US network group.

HBO Latino will carry dubbed films and series broadcast on HBO, as well as original content catered specifically to Latino interests. The network will also acquire original Spanish-language film product to premiere on the new pay outlet. As part of this acquisitions push, HBO will sponsor the 16th annual Chicago Latino Film Festival this April.