by Gretel Perera
The battle is on to reach the Hispanic TV viewer. As recently reported in both the New York Times and NPR, the major TV networks are struggling to find the perfect recipe to appeal to more than 50 million Hispanics living in the U.S. From Spanish-language sports stations, to an English-language Hispanic lifestyle TV station, to an online bilingual YouTube channel – networks and production companies are realizing they can no longer ignore this lucrative market and are trying to capture the Latino viewer.
In case you haven’t been able to keep up with all the announcements, here are some of the most recent network movements:
- ABC announced a partnership with Univision to create a new English-language cable news channel targeting Hispanics.
- NBC and Telemundo have had a strong partnership for more than a decade, but during the past year NBC has been trying to determine new ways to forge closer connections with its Spanish-language sister network.
- MundoFox, a Spanish-language network, made its debut on August 13, 2012, as a result of a partnership between News Corp.’s Fox International Channels and RCN Television (Colombia).
- ESPN Deportes is ESPN’s 24-hour Spanish-language sports network.
- Fox Deportes is a Spanish-language sports network that debuted in 2010 as a joint venture between News Corporation and Fox Pan American Sports. NASCAR just announced that the Sprint Cup Series races will be broadcast in Spanish for the first time on Fox Deportes.
Interestingly enough, some production companies are betting on online TV to reach Latino viewers, such as the recent launch of the MiTu Latino lifestyle network on YouTube and the 123 Uno Dos Tres bilingual YouTube channel.
Even Sesame Street is getting in on the action by announcing the search to bring on a new Hispanic character!
While the “right” recipe for reaching Latino viewers is still being sampled, there is a certain mix of ingredients that networks need to consider before going live: language (Spanish, English or bilingual?), making that cultural connection, creating content that is relevant to a diverse population, avoiding stereotypes and – most importantly – getting corporate sponsors and advertisers on board.
It’ll be interesting to see if any of these new networks are able to uncover the perfect recipe to capture the differing tastes of the Latino viewer. Stay tuned!
Gretel Perera is an IABC Board Member and partner of Q Communications Group, a Latina-owned full service public relations agency specialized in reaching the U.S. Hispanic market. @LaChicaQComm