Spanish-Language Networks Not Breaking From Status Quo

Hispanics can expect to see some familiar-type entries on their screens 5/09/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

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For all the talk about growing audiences
and advertising expenditures, what
can U.S. Hispanics expect in terms of
content? A little bit more of the same,
according to media observers.

While the entry of Fox Hispanic
Networks’ NatGeo Mundo to the
marketplace and an expected
boost in programming by Discovery
Communications will add a dose of
quality nonfi ction programming to
the Spanish-language content offering,
Hispanics can expect to see
some familiar-type entries on their
screens (i.e. telenovelas and sports),
and a dash more nonscripted
programming (reality shows), with
cooking, health and beauty competitions
topping the list.

On the broadcasting side, both
Telemundo and Univision are expected
to continue their primetime
feud by programming telenovelas,
with both stepping up efforts to
extend their offerings online and on
mobile platforms. In addition, Univision
will be offering three new cable
channels, including one that will roll
out in July built around telenovelas
tentatively called UniNovelas. Univision
is also likely to program more
shows from Grupo Televisa, as the
partners recently settled their differences,
with the Mexican media giant
injecting a much-needed $1.2 billion
on Univision.

As for the sports networks, both
ESPN Deportes and Fox Deportes
will be unveiling new properties in
May, though both want to keep the
details a surprise.

Still, creative and media agencies
say they would like to see a
more diverse supply of content, one
that would finally meet increasing
demand and would extend beyond
the usual fare.

“We do need to see more progress
on the content side,” says
Steven Wolfe Pereira, executive VP
and managing director at Publicis
Groupe’s Mediavest. “We want to
see the content. Content needs to
be the most engaging piece of this
growth. We need to see content
that goes beyond novelas, beyond
soccer, beyond news.”

Echoing this sentiment is Alain
Groenendaal, president and CEO at
Wing, a WPP-owned multicultural
shop in New York City, who thinks
there is a huge opportunity to create
programming that caters to a more
multicultural nation, whether that’s
Latino, African-American, Asian or
any other ethnic group. “Marketers
are craving for programs that reach a
more multicultural community,” says
Groenendaal, whose agency works
with advertisers including P&G, Diageo
and Goya. “Why aren’t there more
shows like Modern Family?”