The multicast network LATV is off to a strong start, say station partners and media buyers, but still has its work cut out in terms of hitting a broader audience. We quoted Terri McKinzie of the multicultural communications company Tapestry in our LATV story in the new issue; McKinzie had a bit more to say that didn’t make it into the mag.
She details the challenge ahead of LATV:
1. Distribution: While they have made gains, the majority of growth has been as part of digital side channels on English language stations across the country. This distribution model is getting exposure in markets — but until the digital conversion is complete next year, many potential viewers are not aware of the network. Networks in the competitive set — Mun2, MTV Tr3s, and SiTV — rely heavily on cable for distribution, but are also looking for creative opportunities to expand distribution (like MTV Tr3s). Hopefully, the digital conversion next year may help to even the playing field a little more — and could actually give the network a "leg up" with awareness — once viewers are more readily accepting of the multiple digital channel offerings. And the "primary" local station affiliations should also provide a valuable platform for promotion.
2. Programmingfocus: There is just concern that the Hispanic viewers 18-34 (and marketers catering to them) can realistically support four networks (see competitive set mentioned above). The network does have some appealing original programming (for example: En LA Zona, Verdad y Fama, and Ceasar y Chuy) so they have a good point to start from. They need to make sure they continue generating relevant programming with enough differentiation from the competitive set to be a viable option long term.
3. Ratings: The network is not yet rated. The majority of advertisers want some type of quantifiable results for media investments. The ROI answer is a little easier to demonstrate on the local level — where retailers/advertisers are more likely to get feedback from patrons about the network. LATV will need to provide or partner for greater measurement mechanisms for major marketers.