Upfronts 2013: Telemundo Pitches Power of Homegrown Programming

Owning content enables innovation and integrated opportunities

Complete Coverage: Upfronts 2013

A year ago, Mike Rosen was the top buyer for media agency
Starcom, and he made a big early upfront deal with Univision.

This year, Rosen is executive VP for ad sales at Telemundo,
Univision's chief rival in the Hispanic television market, and a week before
leading his first upfront presentation, he's busy touting Telemundo's homegrown
original programming.

Telemundo's upfront will take place under its "The Power of
T" banner and will emphasize four pillars: investment, content, growth and

Comcast's NBCUniversal, Telemundo's parent, has been
investing in programming and production values to create a great environment
for viewers and advertisers, Rosen says-not to mention the plan to access
greater gains in the Hispanic space.

Ten years ago, Telemundo execs decided that the network's
best strategic play would be to become the No. 1 producer of original
Spanish-language primetime content in the U.S. They have stuck to that strategy
and it's paying off, Rosen says.

"What we wanted was product that was specifically designed
for the U.S Hispanic experience because that's not only what the viewers want,
but it's also the best way that marketers can talk to those consumers in highly
relevant ways," he says. "We're big believers in the power of contextual and
cultural relevance."

Owning intellectual property and being a content creator
makes it easier for Telemundo to build integrated opportunities for
advertisers. That's important "in a world where marketers want a whole lot more
than simply airing 30-second spots," Rosen says. "They want fully baked, fully
realized, multiplatform, multichannel, paid, earned and shared content."

The investment and content has created growth for Telemundo,
which is always attractive to media buyers. After experiencing its best year
ever in 2012, this year has started out like "gangbusters," Rosen says. "We
keep setting and then breaking our own records," he adds, pointing to one
recent Friday when Telemundo's novela El Señor de los Cielos was the top
show in its time period for all of television, regardless of language.

In terms of innovation, last year Telemundo created what it
calls a social novela. Episodes of Secreteando originated on Facebook
and were shared and commented on via Google Plus, Twitter, Instagram and other
social media platforms. The program was sponsored by Trident gum-a Starcom
MediaVest client. A second season is now in the works.

Telemundo is also working with NBCU's Fandango movie news
and ticket site to create Fandango Cine, which is specifically designed for the
Hispanic moviegoer. Hispanics are 16% of the U.S. population, yet they
represent 25% of moviegoers, creating an opportunity to build marketing
solutions for studios. Telemundo's cable network Mun2 will air a weekly
Fandango Cine show.

Rosen says it's too early to predict how strong upfront
volume will be this year. But he says "the momentum we're showing and the
business results we're driving for our clients make us feel as optimistic as
you can about your position in the marketplace," he says.

Now on the other side of the negotiating table, Rosen feels
he's still doing some of the things he did on the agency side. The key to
success, he says, is to "create solutions for clients to help them drive their

Will he be able to persuade his old colleagues
at Starcom to do a big early market deal with Telemundo this year? "No
comment," Rosen says. "The transactions will come when it's the right time.
We're always open for business."