Hispanic TV Summit: Operators en Español

A Comprehensive Look at Hispanic Offerings From Cable and Satellite Operators
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Several operators have been
beefing up their Hispanic packages over the past year, with Comcast,
Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, RCN and others all reporting
significant growth in the amount of the Spanish- and English-language
content available to Hispanic customers.

The
following is a rundown of the Hispanic offerings of the top 15 pay TV
providers. Channel counts and pricing may vary from system to system.
The list also highlights the least expensive, entry-level packages,
many of which can be combined with other tiers or much-larger lineups
of digital and pay TV channels.

Comcast

Basic subscribers: 23.9 million
Digital subscribers: 17.5 million
High-speed Internet subscribers: 15.3 million
Phone subscribers: 7.0 million
Contacts:
Derek Harrar, senior vice president and general manager of video
services; Diana Kerekes, vice president of video content; David Jensen,
vice president of international programming; Kim Taylor, senior
director of video and multicultural marketing; Mauro Panzera, senior
director of multicultural marketing; Radame Rodriquez, director of
Spanish-language content acquisition, (215) 665-1700.
Hispanic packages:
"CableLatino" (around 25 Spanish-language channels, limited basic
channels, music channels, a digital set-top box and video-on-demand in
Spanish for $20 to $30, with typical pricing around $25). MSO has
signed deals with about 80 programmers. Systems customize local lineups
to reflect their demographics. A variety of more-expensive packages are
available, with larger lineups of 50 to 60 Spanish-language channels
offered in all-digital systems.
Spanish VOD, HSI and bundles:
Offers more than 300 free Spanish-language VOD choices at any time, in
addition to dual English/Spanish audio feeds on select films; has an
extensive Comcast Latino Spanish-language portal, in partnership with
Terra.com; offers a number of bundles specifically for Hispanic
subscribers; and has launched special international calling plans,
including "Mexico 100" for $4.95, "Latin America 100" for $9.95 and
"Worldwide 300" for $14.99.
Major Hispanic markets:
Passes more than 4 million Hispanic subscribers, serving such large
Hispanic DMAs as Miami; Houston; Chicago; Boston; San Francisco;
Denver; Atlanta; Philadelphia; and Albuquerque, N.M.
Recent and future moves:
Comcast, which was the first cable operator to devote significant
resources to the Hispanic market, rolled out lower-cost Hispanic tiers
in 2003 and has since revamped offerings and beefed up both
linear-channels and free Spanish-language VOD. In the last year, the
MSO has dramatically increased its Spanish-language VOD content to
about 300 choices, up from 100 a year ago, and continues to add linear
channels, most recently adding TuTv's five channels and Mexicanal to
some of its systems. As part of an aggressive analog reclamation effort
to free up bandwidth, Comcast has launched the larger "Nuevo
CableLatino" package with 50 to 60 Spanish-language channels priced at
$24.99 in Boston and $29.99 in Chicago, and has plans to soon make that
package available to some additional markets, primarily on the West
Coast. Bundles specifically targeted to Hispanics have been available
since October 2006 and during the last year, Comcast has also beefed up
the long-distance calling plans listed above.

DirecTV

Subscribers: 18.3 million
Contact: John de Armas, vice president, WorldDirect, DirecTV, (212) 205-0500
Hispanic packages:
Lowest priced offering is "Óptimo Más" (more than 50 Spanish-language
channels, local broadcasters, secondary audio programming feeds and
English-language channels for a total of over 150 channels for $44.99;
currently promoted at $29.99 for first year.)
Spanish VOD, HSI and bundles:
Spanish-language on-demand content includes Spanish-language versions
of new release titles, Bloomberg On Demand, PBS Kids Sprout,
Nickelodeon and MTV Tr3s on demand; bundled packages are sold with
telco partners around the country, including Qwest Communications
International, AT&T and Verizon Communications.
Major Hispanic markets: Has a national footprint; offers local broadcasters, including Spanish broadcasters in many markets.
Recent and future moves:
In 2007, the company relaunched its Hispanic offering "DirecTV Más"
with a new name and revamped channel lineup. The package now includes
seven exclusive channels and programming from every Spanish-speaking
country in Latin America, as well as Spain. DirecTV has been
aggressively using such celebrities as Oscar de la Hoya and Andres
Garcia to promote the service and in 2008 was a top-five advertiser in
U.S. Spanish-language media. Besides the current discounts for Óptimo
Más, DirecTV is running promotions for its other packages: "Óptimo Más
plus DVR" (150 English and Spanish channels and the DVR service for
$34.99 for the first 12 months); "Más Ultra" (170 channels in English
and Spanish for $39.99 for the first 12 months); and "Lo Máximo" (more
than 275 channels and all premium-movie channels for $59.99 for the
first five months.) In terms of new programming, the satellite provider
continues to look for high-quality, exclusive Spanish-language content.

Dish Network

Subscribers: 13.6 million
Hispanic packages:
Entry-level packages include "DishMéxico" (more than 20
Spanish-language channels, six Latin music services, English-language
channels and local broadcasters for a total of more than 55 services
for $19.95) and "DishLatino Clásico" (more than 32 Spanish-language
services, local broadcast stations, six Latin music services and
English-language channels for a total of more than 105 services,
regularly priced at $29.99 and currently available for $19.99 to new
customers for the first 12 months). A variety of other tiers with more
Spanish and English channels also are available.
Contact: Ruben Mendiola, general manager of programming for DishLatino (ruben.mendiola@dishnetwork.com), (303) 723-1194; Jose Romero, manager of marketing for DishLatino, (jose.romero@echostar.com), (720) 514-6164.
Spanish VOD, HSI and bundles:
Offers Spanish-language movies and television shows to subscribers who
have set-top boxes capable of getting on-demand content; telco partners
bundle Dish's video packages with their phone and
digital-subscriber-line offerings; has extensive Spanish-language pages
for its online DishLatino offers.
Major Hispanic markets: National footprint; offers local broadcast stations in most markets.
Recent and future moves: Satellite-TV company Dish was the first
provider to seriously target the Hispanic market, viewing the effort as
a way to distinguish itself from DirecTV and cable. Despite increased
competition, it remains the market leader. Over the last year, the
satellite provider has continued to add new channels to its various
Hispanic packages, including such services as Bandamax, CBeebies,
Pasiones and TeleAmazonas and is planning to add more Spanish-language
services this year. In November of 2008, it launched a new entry-level
package, DishMéxico, and is currently offering $10 off its other
Hispanic tiers, promoting "DishLatino Plus" (more than 110 Spanish and
English services) at the discounted price of $24.99 for the first 12
months; "DishLatino Dos" (for more than 200 channels) for $32.99; and
"DishLatino Max" (more than 230 channels) for $42.99 in the first year.
In February of 2009 it also began including local broadcasters in the
price of its Hispanic packages and has been adding Spanish language VOD
to its offerings.

Time Warner Cable

Basic subscribers: 13.0 million
Digital subscribers: 8.8 million
High-speed data subscribers: 9.0 million
Voice subscribers: 4.1 million
Contact: William Ortiz, senior director of corporate target marketing, (212)-364-8372
Hispanic packages:
Offers several packages, but the lead one is "El Paquetazo" (more than
50 Spanish-language channels, over 100 English-language channels, a
digital box and access to VOD for $37.95 in Los Angeles).
Hispanic VOD, HSI and bundles:
Hispanic offerings include Spanish-language movies, kids' fare and
other programming; broadband service has extensive Spanish-language
pages; offers triple-play packages that are marketed to Hispanics; its
"International OnePrice" calling plan offers 1,000 free minutes to more
than 100 countries, including many in Latin America, for $19.95.
Major Hispanic markets:
New York, New Jersey, San Diego, Los Angeles and other Southern
California operations; Texas; and the Carolinas. Overall, it serves
DMAs where 47% of all U.S. Hispanics reside.
Recent and future moves:
The New York system rolled out a low-cost "DTV en Español" entry-level
package in early 2003. In the summer of 2005, TWC launched a rebranded
"Nuestra Tele" package, which was subsequently launched in divisions
that serve its largest Hispanic markets. Lineups, pricing and brands
vary by system but its main Hispanic package is now El Paquetazo. First
launched in 2008 in Los Angeles, with a greatly expanded number of
Spanish and English channels, the El Paquetazo was launched in May of
2009 in New York systems with around 40 Spanish-language services and
over 80 English language channels for $34.95. In September, El
Paquetazo will launch in Texas, making it available in the MSO's top
three Hispanic markets. Besides the larger channel lineup in El
Paquetazo, the MSO is planning to add more Spanish-language VOD by the
end of the year. In its marketing efforts, which won a number of awards
over the last year, the operator has paid particularly close attention
to marketing bundled services. More than half of new Hispanic customers
take a bundle.

Cox Communications

Basic subscribers: More than 5 million
Digital subscribers: More than 3 million
High-speed Internet subscribers: 4 million
Phone subscribers: 2.5 million
Contact: Tony Maldonado, vice president of acquisition and marketing and sciences
Hispanic packages:
"Paquete Latino" (up to 35 Spanish-language networks and 10 to 15
channels of English-language local broadcast stations and basic
services for about $28 to $34), designed so local systems can customize
the lineup and pricing.
Hispanic VOD, HSI and bundles:
Cox Digital Cable offers Paquete Latino subscribers a variety of
English and Spanish-language movies, music and other TV programming.
Atlanta-based Cox also offers a variety of bundles and calling plans,
including the "Simply Worldwide" plan for $1.99 a month that has low
rates to 14 Latin American countries.
Major Hispanic markets: Include Arizona, Southern California and Las Vegas.
Recent and future moves:
As part of a completely revamped Hispanic strategy, Cox launched the
Paquete Latino package and a Spanish-language Web site in 2004. As a
result of its Hispanic push, the MSO's Hispanic customers now make up a
higher proportion of its customers than they do of the general
population, with bundled services proving to be particularly attractive
- more than 67% of Cox's Hispanic customers now take two or more
services. While the MSO has no immediate plans to add more linear
Spanish-language services, it increased the amount of Spanish-language
on demand programming by about 50% in the last year and plans to add
significantly more VOD content over the next year. As part of a greater
focus on multilingual Hispanics, the MSO will add more English-language
services to Paquete Latino and will pay more attention to multilingual
Hispanics in its overall marketing.

Charter Communications

Basic subscribers: 4.9 million
Digital subscribers: 3.2 million
High-speed Internet subscribers: 3.0 million
Phone subscribers: 1.5 million
Contact: Pattie Eliason, senior director of marketing, (626) 430-3568
Hispanic packages:
"Charter Latino" (digital box, access to VOD where available, local
broadcast channels and as many as 24 Spanish-language networks for
$29.99).
Hispanic VOD, HSI and Bundles: Some
Spanish VOD content, as well as secondary audio feeds for pay-per-view;
Spanish-language Web site charterlatino.com; offers a wide variety of
general-market bundles and has a long-distance calling plan that gives
subscribers 250 minutes to over 100 countries for an additional $20.
Major Hispanic markets: Los Angeles; Ft. Worth, Texas; Reno, Nev.; and other markets with rapidly-growing Hispanic communities.
Recent and future plans:
In August 2004, St. Louis-based Charter began the soft launch of a
low-cost Charter Latino tier in some markets, and since then has added
more Spanish-language programming as it rolled out Charter Latino in
its main Hispanic markets. In 2009, it hired an ad agency to help
develop branded messaging for the Hispanic community; marketing efforts
use a variety of media, direct mail and local events and sponsorships
to target Hispanics, with bundles an important focus.

Cablevision Systems

Basic subscribers: 3.1 million
Digital subscribers: 2.9 million
High-speed Internet subscribers: 2.5 million
Phone Subscribers: 2 million
Contact: James Moore, director of international video product management, (516) 803-4417, Jmoore5@cablevision.com
Hispanic Packages: "iO en Español" (over 35 Spanish-language channels,
and a free Spanish-language VOD service starting at $6.95 a month for
subscribers to Family Cable, which varies in price but costs $49.95 in
some parts of the footprint; iO en Español package costs $14.95 a month
when purchased with broadcast basic tier, which in many communities
results in a total entry-level package of under $30.)
Hispanic VOD, HSI and bundles:
More than 20 hours of Spanish-language VOD programming a month; has a
Spanish-language Web portal for its "Optimum Online" Internet service (www.optimum.net/latino);
markets a variety of bundles for video, Internet and phone; offers
flat-rate plans for unlimited local and long-distance calling within
the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada; also offers "Optimum Voice World
Call," which offers up to 250 minutes of calling anywhere in the world,
including up to 30 minutes of calls to Cuba, for $19.95.
Major Hispanic markets: Greater New York City area, including parts of Brooklyn, the Bronx, New Jersey and Long Island.
Recent and future plans:
The Bethpage, N.Y.-based MSO expanded the availability of iO en
Español, along with other international services, to its entire
footprint in 2006. In 2007, it added a number of new Hispanic-targeted
networks, including VeneMovies, V-me, Telemicro, Ecuavisa
Internacional, Caracol TV Internacional, WAPA America, and Latelenovela
Network. In January 2008, it added Dominican View and in 2009, the
operator launched Telemundo HD.

Verizon FiOS TV

Basic video subscribers: 2.5 million
High-speed data subscribers: 9.1 million
Mobile: 87.7 million retail customers
Phone subscribers: 34.3 million U.S. wireline access lines
Contact: Bill Binford, Verizon Communications director of programming, (212) 406-6706
Hispanic packages:
"Spanish-Language Package" (27 Spanish-language channels, including
Univision and Galavision, for $11.99 per month.) The more popular
option is "La Conexión" (including 25 Spanish-language channels, over
35 English-language channels and local broadcasters for a total of over
140 channels for $39.99).
Spanish VOD, HSD and bundles:
Offers a variety of Spanish-language VOD movies and television
programming; La Conexión and the Spanish-Language Package can be
bundled with Verizon's other services.
Major Hispanic markets: New York, New Jersey, Texas, Florida, California and other markets.
Recent and future moves:
Hispanic markets have always been an important part of the New
York-based telco's strategy and FiOS TV has offered large Hispanic
offerings since launch. After concentrating on rolling out its services
and building penetration, it has beefed up its Hispanic marketing and
in the last year has added two Spanish-language channels to its
Spanish-Language Package.

Bright House Networks

Total customers: 2.4 million
Contact: N/A
Hispanic packages:
"Nuestros Canales" (up to 19 Spanish-language channels and five Latino
music services for $2.99 to $3.99, in addition to the digital package
of over 300 channels that includes local broadcasters).
Hispanic VOD, HSI and bundles:
"Español Movies on Demand" and "International Movies on Demand" include
both free and pay-per-view Spanish-language content; Tampa Bay, Fla.,
and Central Florida divisions offer "Lo Mejor On Demand," with more
than 50 hours of programming from Univision, Galavision and Telefutura;
"Road Runner en Español" high-speed data service offered on most
systems has extensive Spanish-language pages for Hispanic customers;
Hispanic-targeted "Mi Mexico" and "Latin American Call Plans" offered
by the Tampa Bay Division.
Major Hispanic markets: Florida
Recent and future moves:
In recent years, the MSO has added Spanish-language channels and VOD
content and plans to add more in the fall of 2009. Lo Mejor on Demand -
already available in Tampa - was launched in Central Florida in July of
2009. In September, the Central Florida division launched Nosotros on
Demand, including content from ESPN Deportes, CNN en Español, Fox
Sports en Español and WAPA America, as well as informational and
educational fare. Bright House continues to offer local news channels
Central Florida News 13 en Español and Central Florida News 13 en
Español On Demand.

AT&T U-verse TV

Basic video subscribers: 1.6 million U-verse TV customers; 3.8 million total video customers from both U-verse TV and satellite-TV partnerships.
High-speed Internet subscribers: 16.9 million
Voice: 52.4 million switched-access lines.
Contacts:
Dan York, executive vice president content and programming, AT&T
Converged Services; Rob Thun, senior vice president of content; Emma
Bracket, director of content, (210) 821-4105.
Hispanic programming packages:
All U-verse TV customers have access to "Paquete Español" (22
Spanish-language channels featuring Spanish-language novelas, movies,
news, sports, children's programming, talk shows, etc. for $15 a month
on top of any U-verse TV programming tier); also offers "U200 Latino"
(includes the 22 channels in Paquete Español, plus local broadcast
channels and a wide array of English-language channels; more than 250
total channels for $74).
Spanish VOD, high-speed internet and bundles:
The "U-verse On Demand" library with thousands of hours of free and
paid On Demand titles includes a robust selection of original Spanish
movies, children's programs and events and Spanish versions of popular
new releases; offers a variety of bundles, as well as low-cost
international calling plans.
Major Hispanic markets:
Los Angeles; Houston; Dallas-Fort Worth; San Antonio, Texas; San
Francisco-Oakland-San Jose; Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Calif.; San
Diego; Chicago; Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; West Palm Beach, Fla.;
Austin, Texas; Fresno, Calif.; Bakersfield, Calif.; Detroit-Ann Arbor,
Mich., and Atlanta, as well as such recently launched markets as El
Paso and Corpus Christi, Texas; Orlando, Fla.; Monterey-Salinas,
Calif.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Odessa-Midland, Texas; and Charlotte, N.C.
Recent and future moves:
To better meet the demands of the bilingual Hispanic market, AT&T
in 2009 introduced U200 Latino, offering a much wider array of
English-language channels. U200 Latino is currently included as one of
the options in its "Buy Two, Get One Free" offer, which allows
customers who bundle U200 Latino with either AT&T Mobility wireless
service ("Nation 450" or above) or U-verse Voice Unlimited to receive
U-verse High Speed Internet Pro free for six months, a $30-per-month
discount. The telco has also beefed up its Spanish-language VOD as part
of an overall expansion of its on-demand offerings and looks to add
more Spanish-language HDTV programming as it becomes available.
AT&T has also offered several promotions for Paquete Español this
year and currently is offering new U-verse TV customers one free month
of Paquete Español.

Mediacom Communications

Basic subscribers: 1.3 million
Digital subscribers: 658,000
High-speed Internet subscribers: 754,000
Phone subscribers: 267,000
Contact: Italia Commisso Weinand, senior vice president of programming and human resources, (845) 695-2600
Hispanic packages:
"Canales" (generally includes 12 Spanish-language channels for $5.95 on
digital systems); customers must pay for an analog package (which often
includes some Hispanic broadcasters) and the digital box in addition to
the Canales tiers.
Spanish VOD, HSI and bundles: None to date.
Major Hispanic markets: Nogales, Ariz., is the largest, plus a number of relatively small Hispanic communities.
Recent and future moves:
In late April of this year, Mediacom added, De Película, De Película
Classico, Bandamax, Telehit, V-Me, Mexicanal, EWTN Español, and
Sorpresa to the Hispanic lineup in Nogales, Ariz., its largest Hispanic
market. It continues to look for relevant content that could be added
to the package.

Suddenlink Communications

Basic subscribers: 1.3 million
Contact: Mary Meier, senior vice president of marketing, (314) 965-2020
Hispanic packages:
"Conexión Única" (includes over 30 Spanish-language channels for $21,
in the West Texas markets; it is priced at $29.99 or $37.95 with HBO in
most of the other markets).
Spanish VOD, HSI and bundles:
Offers some Spanish VOD; has offered some bundles with high-speed
Internet and video targeting Hispanics; has inexpensive international
calling rates.
Major Hispanic markets: Texas is the
largest; Conexión Única is now offered in 47 markets, including areas
in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Oklahoma and North Carolina that
have rapidly growing Hispanic communities.
Recent and future moves:
The company's footprint includes some major Hispanic markets,
particularly in Texas where it is the No. 3 operator. In summer of
2006, it rebranded the Hispanic package as Conexión Única and has since
launched campaigns on Spanish-language radio and TV to promote Conexion
Unica and other offerings. This year, the MSO introduced VOD in more
territories and is planning to add more Spanish-language VOD in markets
where that makes sense. It also continues to expand the number of HD
channels and boost speeds of its most popular high-speed Internet
offerings.

Insight COMMUNICATIONS

Basic subscribers: 720,100
Digital subscribers: 483,400
High-speed Internet subscribers: 481,500
Phone subscribers: 306,200
Contacts:
Melani Griffith, senior vice president of programming and video
services, (917) 286-2300; Jennifer Lescott, director, programming and
video services, (917) 286-2300
Hispanic package: "Insight Para Tí" (average of 25 channels, five English-language and 20 Spanish-language, for $10 per month).
Hispanic VOD, HSi and bundles: Carries over 70 hours of Hispanic-targeted content on demand.
Major Hispanic markets:
Serves some fast-growing Hispanic markets, such as Lexington, Ky., but
generally operates in communities with relatively small Hispanic
populations.
Recent and future moves: Over the last
year, the MSO has boosted the total Hispanic VOD offering to more than
70 hours, with content from such programmers as MTV Tr3s, Sprout, and
FearNet.

Cable One

Basic subscribers: 692,076
Digital subscribers: 227,840
High-speed data subscribers: 386,472
Phone subscribers: 100,208
Contacts: Jerry McKenna, vice president of strategic marketing, (602) 364-6000.
Hispanic programming packages:
"Digital Español" (a digital box, nine Spanish-language networks and
two networks with SAP feeds, for $3 on top of digital cable service);
"Cable One en Español" includes the Hispanic tier and standard cable
for $53 per month.
Recent and future moves: Cable One continues to examine its Hispanic packages but has not made any major changes to its offerings in the last year.

RCN

Video revenue-generating units: 368,000
Data RGUs: 307,000
Voice RGUs: 236,000
Contact: Richard Ramlall, senior vice president of strategic external affairs and programming, (703) 434-8200
Hispanic Packages: Three main packages: "El Paquetón" (over 30 Spanish-language channels, over 100 English-language standard definition channels, and up to 16 HD channels, as well as English and Spanish-language VOD for $35); "MiVisión Lite" (same 30, plus Spanish-language video networks included in El Paquetón and VOD for $12 in addition to the cost of their regular English-language digital package); "MiVisión Plus" (39 Spanish-language channels, including such services as GolTV and ESPN Deportes that are not included in MiVisión Lite and VOD for $22.95 on top of an English-language digital package.)
Spanish VOD, HSI and bundles: Offers a significant amount of Spanish-language, movies, kids, music, sports and other programming on demand; video offerings can be bundled with data and phone offerings; offers a Global Saver international calling plan with 250 minutes to 68 countries for $9.95.
Major Hispanic markets: New York; Boston; Washington, D.C.; and Chicago.
Recent and future moves:
In September 2006, RCN rolled out a radically revamped Hispanic
package, which more than doubled its Spanish-language channels. This
year, following an aggressive analog bandwidth-reclamation project, RCN
has dramatically expanded its Hispanic offerings, launching MiVisión
Lite and MiVisión Plus in July and El Paquetón in August. This year,
RCN has also beefed up its Spanish-language VOD lineup and is planning
to add additional linear and on-demand Spanish-language content by the
end of the year. Based on its ongoing research into Hispanic customers,
which it characterizes as an affluent and sophisticated group that
speaks both Spanish and English at home, the MSO has included a
significant amount of both English content and high-definition
programming in its packages. Looking forward it is also interested in
adding sports, soccer, novelas, news channels and general-entertainment
Spanish-language programming. RCN has cut a deal with TiVo to roll out
boxes that will allow consumers to access online content and it hopes
to use that feature to expand the range of its Spanish-language content.

SOURCE: Multichannel News
research. Information collected by George Winslow. Subscriber counts
are the most recent available and are generally for the end of the
second quarter of 2009. Pricing, channel counts, packages and
promotions were current as of the start of September 2009.

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