Upfronts 2011: Telemundo "Shifts" Its Strategy to Keep Up With a Changing America

New concept looks for new ways to reach audience
Author:
Publish date:

Click here for complete coverage of the 2011 upfronts

Telemundo President Don
Browne wants the network to "shift forward" this year.

In advance of the network's upfront presentation Tuesday evening,
Telemundo executives held a meeting with media members on Tuesday morning at
the Hudson Hotel in New York.

The network compared itself to other broadcast
nets, saying that while their ratings are declining, Telemundo's have never
been higher. Jacqueline Hernandez, COO, Telemundo, boasted that their ratings
are up 31% in total prime for the 18-49 demo. "Our report card is [an] A++,"
said Hernandez.

Browne, who announced he will retiring in June
last month, touted that with the rapid growth of Hispanic population in the
United States (he said that in five years one in three people will be
Hispanic), the network has no shortage of demand for Spanish-language
programming. Telemundo features over 4,000 hours of original content each year.
Dan Lovinger, EVP of advertising sales & integrated marketing, said that
the network wants to make Spanish-language television "a must-have, instead of
a nice-to-have."

When describing the current cultural landscape
in the United States, Browne introduced "The Shift" --  a brand new
concept the network has adapted to service the heavy growth in U.S. Hispanic
population. With such a heavy influx of Latinos, Hernandez pointed out that
part of this new concept is embracing that both American and Hispanic
influences play a role. "English, Spanish, Spanglish, doesn't matter," said
Hernandez. "It's about the audience and what they want."

In an effort to get acquainted with the younger
demographic, Telemundo is launching "cultural connectors," a community of
GenYLA'ers (Young Latino Americans) who are between the ages of 18-34. The
network will use this panel to find out what is important to young American
Latinos and create original programming to fit that.  

Telemundo's programming slate this year aims to
reach what Peter Blacker, EVP, digital media and emerging business, calls the
"four passion points": Novella, Sports, Music and Community. "Our role is to
see how we can address all the shades of diversity," said Blacker. "[We want
to] connect with the full spectrum of Hispanics." Joshua Mintz, Senior EVP,
Telemundo Entertainment said the network wanted to find programs that "connect
with the audience," and have consistency not only in storytelling but also in
production values.

This year the network will premiere four new
telenovelas: Amor de Pelicula (Love...Just Like in the Movies); Caidas
del Cielo
(Fallen from Heaven); Fisico o Quimí­ca (Physical or
Chemistry); Una Maid en Manhattan (Maid in Manhattan). Telemundo also
has reached a deal with 12-time Emmy Award winner Christina Saralegui to
develop, host and executive produce a weekend variety show that will begin
airing by the end of the year.

The network announced that it has reached a new
multi-year deal with Billboard to continue broadcasting the Billboard Latin
Music Awards
. The network will also be launching its own musical awards
show, Premios Billboard de la Musica Regional Mexicana.

For sports programming, along with coverage of
next summer's Olympic Games, the network is producing an online sports channel,
that will service content across all digital platforms including online, mobile
and social media. Telemundo also reached an agreement with the NFL to provide themed programming, features, segment and coverage geared towards Hispanics of NFL events, including the Super Bowl.

Telemundo's cable sister-station mun2 was on
hand to announce the launch of a brand new, innovative web site that will be
fully integrated with its programming, including its own singing competition
series, El Mas Ching*n and its popular RPM series. Riding the
wave of popularity for RPM Miami, mun2 announced a new season, RPM 2.
The new website is step one for the cable network's new digital initiatives.

At the beginning of the presentation, Browne
remarked that "this is a new America," and Telemundo's new strategy is one that
attempts to keep up with the ever-changing culture. "The shift is happening
right now," said Lovinger.

Related