Upfronts 2013: Hispanic Broadcast NetworksLook to Grow Entire Market

Upfront centers on competition for English-language dollars, not infighting

Complete Coverage: Upfronts 2013

The approaching television upfront ad-buying season may see a sizable chunk of ad dollars shifting not only from the English-language broadcast networks to cable, but also in the direction of Spanish-language television.

While traditional Hispanic TV giant Univision will again take in the lion's share of upfront ad dollars, with Telemundo corralling the next biggest portion targeting this ever-growing population sector, many smaller and newer TV players are also aggressively competing for a greater share of the total take.

Along with Univision and Telemundo, five other Hispanic entertainment network organizations will hold their upfront presentations during the traditional broadcast upfront week beginning May 13: Fox Hispanic Networks, which includes MundoFox; Discovery Hispanic Networks; NuvoTV; EstrellaTV; and TV Azteca.

NuvoTV's presentation will feature an appearance by Jennifer Lopez, whose TV and film production company, Nuyorican, is developing original programming and first-run series for the network.

Univision will not only be selling advertising on its network, but also on its sibling broadcaster UniMás (recently rebranded from TeleFutura). Season-to-date in primetime, Univision is averaging 3.7 million viewers per night and a 1.5 18-49 rating, which on many nights bests one or more of the English-language broadcast networks. UniMás is averaging about 680,000 viewers per night and a 0.3 18-49 rating. NBCUniversal's Telemundo is averaging 1.3 million viewers per night and a 0.6 demo number. All of those networks will also be touting their 18-34 primetime numbers.

Keith Turner, president of ad sales and marketing at Univision Communications says he welcomes all the competition because "it validates the Hispanic marketplace as one with growing consumer interest." And while Turner says some of the upfront selling will be focused on UniMás making inroads into the Telemundo audience, for the most part, Univision will be looking more at taking dollars away from the English-language broadcast networks where Univision continues to make major strides in the primetime ratings battle.

"We beat NBC in the February sweeps and that obviously will be a major selling point for us in the upfront," Turner says. "In February, 58 of our 62 stations locally beat NBC in primetime."

Making Inroads

Another selling point Univision will use to try to lure ad dollars from ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox is that for the first time in any first quarter, the network finished fourth among all broadcasters in the adult 18-34 demo, and was the highest-rated network on Friday nights in the adults 18-49 demo.

Telemundo, meanwhile, has its own positive story. The network was up 7% in viewers in Q1 primetime and it will no doubt crow that it delivered more total viewers and adults 18-49 than UniMás, MundoFox, Azteca and Estrella combined. UniMás will counter that its season-to-date viewership is up 15%, with its 18-49 rating increasing 6%.

Mike Rosen, executive VP of ad sales and integrated marketing at Telemundo plans to stress to marketers the importance of the network producing its novelas and other programming where it can integrate brands into story lines.

"We have the ability to produce our own content and work with marketers to integrate them into that content and this is very valuable to them," Rosen says. "No other Hispanic network can this to the degree we can because they don't produce their own content to the level we do."

MundoFox, not quite one year old, will be entering its second upfront. Tom Maney, executive VP of ad sales for Fox Hispanic Media-which in addition to MundoFox includes Fox Deportes, Nat Geo Mundo and Utilisima-says the goal this time around will be to boost the upfront total of 72 advertisers from last year to closer to 100. Much like Univision's Turner, Maney believes that more dollars can comes from marketers' general audience ad budgets.

Ivan Bargueiras, general manager of the family of Discovery Hispanic Networks that includes Discovery en Español and Discovery Familia, says that while the cumulative audience is limited to about nine million Hispanic households, they offer marketers a more upscale, targeted audience.

Craig Geller, senior VP of ad sales at NuvoTV says his network's English-language programming targeting Hispanics offers a solid alternative to Spanish-language-only options. He adds that NuvoTV has only about a 10% audience duplication with the other Hispanic networks, giving marketers a unique audience to reach.

The Hispanic broadcast network ad marketplace continues to grow, and the agenda at the pre-upfront meetings the Spanish-language broadcast sales people have had with media agencies and advertisers has included lots of time spent on convincing them to continue moving dollars into Hispanic programming in general, rather than in competition with their fellow Spanish-language counterparts.

"We aren't selling against Univision," says MundoFox's Maney. "We're looking to increase the allocation of dollars in the Hispanic marketplace. We want to bring in more dollars by each advertiser. We want to grow the overall pie."

And Univision's Turner says while his networks are too big for marketers to ignore, "we have to go after all advertising dollars being spent, not just Hispanic ad dollars."

Both Turner and Telemundo's Rosen cite the pharmaceutical and movie categories as areas where marketers are not spending the amount of ad dollars they should be on the Spanish-language networks.

Turner points out that 25% of movie audiences are Hispanic but movie companies only spend 8% of their ad budgets on the Hispanic networks. "We can do better in all categories," Turner says. "In some, we are just scratching the surface."

While Univision will stress its mass reach and sell across its radio and online platforms as well, Telemundo plans to not only sells its TV, online and product integration opportunities, but will also offer marketers ways to reach Hispanics in English across NBCUniversal properties. "The Comcast/NBCU part of our world is also an important factor," Rosen says. "We can reach Hispanic consumers on any platform at any level, local or national."

While the smaller Hispanic networks will be holding their upfront presentations next month, Rosen doesn't see them making that much of an inroad into the overall ad pie.

Asked specifically about the newest entrant in the Hispanic marketplace, MundoFox, Rosen says, "Having been on the buying side a year ago, I know the buying community gave MundoFox every opportunity to succeed if it could come up with the right programming and distribution. The network still has a lot to prove to advertisers. So far, MundoFox has not necessarily lived up to the promises they made."

MundoFox's Maney cautions that people should give the network some time. "Twelve months ago we were just a press release," he says. "Now we are a reality. Right now, we are still growing. We have an upscale, better educated audience than most of the Hispanic networks. Our viewers have the cash in their pockets to buy advertisers products that they see advertised on the network. Our programming goal is to reach second- and third-generation, bilingual Hispanics with higher-quality programming. But we're still a work in progress."

Maney says the network's goal this upfront is to renew 100% of the existing advertisers and get them to increase their spending, while looking for new business. And he says Fox Hispanic Networks will be combining MundoFox with the other three networks to offer cross-network ad buys and coming up with ways to offer advertisers total market solutions.

"Today's market is getting more sophisticated," Maney says. "Marketers just don't automatically buy Univision and Telemundo and stop there. They want more targeting. They want to reach different demos rather than to just make mass buys."

Maney says the lengthy list of Fox Hispanic Media advertisers-including General Motors, Toyota, Ford, Chrysler, Honda and Kia in the auto category; AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile in wireless; Pizza Hut, Denny's, Dominos, KFC and Burger King in fast food; retailers such as Wal-Mart and Lowe's; insurance companies Allstate and State Farm; and other brands such as Kraft, Microsoft and L'Oreal-proves that marketers are interested in reaching audiences beyond the Big Two Hispanic networks.

Maney also believes that, "99% of marketers who advertise on general market television have Hispanic consumers that they want to or need to reach."

Much like Fox Hispanic Networks, but on a smaller scale, is Discovery Hispanic Networks. While the networks reach only about nine million Hispanic households, it boasts two networks that marketers can use to target different demos.

Discovery Español has a more male audience that can be attractive to auto and tech advertisers, Ivan Bargueiras says. Discovery Familia reaches a more female and kids audience, which can be targeted by packaged goods advertisers.

The latter network, Bargueiras says, can be particularly attractive to some marketers "since there is a void in the Hispanic marketplace for reaching kids and mothers."

Discovery Familia in Q1 recorded a 100% increase in its women 18-49 demo audience in primetime, albeit off a small base.

NuvoTV offers English-language programming to an audience it describes as "modern Latinos."

"Our content is culturally relevant and resonates with second- and third-generation Latinos," says NuvoTV's Geller. "Our median viewer household income is $61,000 and that is in the Top 20 of all cable networks, excluding sports and news. The other Spanish-language networks have median age income for viewers of $30,000 and the English-language networks average about $50,000. Our median age viewer is 32, compared to the Spanish-language networks' median age in the low 40s and English-language broadcast networks' median age around 50."

Geller says while Univision and Telemundo and the other Spanish-language networks are looking for advertisers who want to reach "Spanish-dominant" viewers, NuvoTV is looking to reach Hispanics who want to watch television in English.

NuvoTV currently has 45-50 advertisers, Geller says, and the goal will be to increase that total in this upfront. For the first time, NuvoTV is holding its upfront presentation the same week as the English-language broadcast networks and Univision and Telemundo.

Geller says Jennifer Lopez established a relationship with the network "because she understands the audience we reach and is passionate about us connecting to it. Our network has a lower awareness so J-Lo gives us a megaphone."

With more than $1 trillion in spending power annually, the Hispanic marketplace and Hispanic media continues to get more and more focus by marketers.

"Fifteen years ago, 85% of our ad dollars came from Hispanic media agencies," Maney says. "Today, the general market media agencies all have their own multicultural units and now 85% of our ad dollars comes from them."