Hispanic TV Summit: Univision's Conde Sees Growth Opportunity in English-Language Audience
President of Spanish-language network group wants to target non-Hispanic viewers with ABC News join venture
By Andrea Morabito -- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/3/2012 2:12:57 PM
New York -- Univision Networks' primary audience is and will continue to be Spanish-speaking U.S. Hispanics, but president Cesar Conde said he sees the general English-language non-Hispanic audience as a growth opportunity for the company.
In a keynote discussion at B&C/Multichannel News' 10th annual Hispanic Television Summit Wednesday morning, Conde said optimizing Univision's product to be consumed in English and Spanish is a priority.
"I think it will be great for our Hispanic community, but I think more importantly, it will also help begin to transcend some of that English language non-Hispanic audience that has a real interest in the type of programming that we have," he told discussion moderator Melissa Grego, B&C executive editor.
That goal is being partially realized in Univision's joint venture with ABC News, which will launch an English-language news network primarily for a Hispanic audience but with potential to go more mainstream.
"If done the right way, this network will have broad appeal, beyond just the Latino community," Conde said.
Though he had few details to offer about the network's launch, he said the digital component, which soft-launched a beta site last month, will officially launch later this month with the TV network scheduled for summer 2013. Conde had no news about carriage agreements, but said there has been "overwhelming interest" from distribution partners.(Update: Under Disney's new distribution deal with Cablevision announced Thursday, the MSO has agreed to carry the upcoming channel).
Conde also talked about the importance of TV Everywhere to the Hispanic audience, who are looking for more control of what they are watching.
"It's a more acute issue for us as a Hispanic industry because our community over-indexes on the usage and consumption of interactive and social devices and social media," he said.
Conde said Univision has tried to be proactive about tapping new alternative distribution mediums, like a new deal with Xbox to launch its UVideos Digital Network and ensuring they have social media functionality with all of their content through things like second-screen apps.
Despite the growth opportunity of the Hispanic audience for the general media landscape, Conde said it is important for Univision to remember they are still underdogs. While Hispanics represent an increasing percentage of the population, national political ad-spend and ad sales in general on Spanish-language media still have not reached fair scale parity with the general population.
Conde said that lag is expected when an industry shifts focus and said, "the trend is moving in the right direction" though "we still have work to do."
"We as a company have to instill more aggressively that underdog mentality because in many ways we are," he said. "Our biggest risk is standing in the same place and doing the same things."
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