Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hispanic Networks: Ready for Prime Time

Like a beautiful, bodice-ripped starlet chewing up the scenery on a telenovela, television’s top two major Hispanic networks plan to draw extra attention in this year’s upfront marketplace. That’s a welcome plot twist for media buyers involved in the upfront melodrama.

Univision started its push at an extravaganza at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center earlier in May featuring Latino superstar Ricky Martin and a glimpse of new offerings on the horizon. Telemundo, meanwhile, began wooing buyers through March meetings in Miami using a blend of glamorous talent and what its executives believe is a strong story line about the growing Hispanic demographic.

Univision officials say the Lincoln Center presentation attracted more general-market buyers and more first-time attendees than ever before. Statistics help explain why. Univision cites the U.S. Census in claiming that the country’s Hispanic population is now larger than the total populations of Canada, Spain, Argentina or Colombia—and that Hispanics now make up 16 percent of the U.S. population. One in five young adults is Hispanic, according to Univision’s analysis of Nielsen universe estimates.

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