Spanish-lingo giant Univision and its sidekick nets Telefutura and Galavision unveiled their fall shows to advertisers in a glitzy upfront display replete with sultry Latin soap stars, pop singers, a mariachi band and soccer highlights.
The country’s leading Hispanic broadcaster reminded the aud at its Lincoln Center gathering just how dominant it is among the U.S.’ 37 million Hispanics: Its two broadcast networks and one cable net command 35.5% of viewing in Hispanic households 7-11 p.m. and host 95 of the top 100 Spanish-language shows.
In fact, Univision Network’s seventh annual upfront presentation was as much an opportunity to remind media buyers of the continuing clout of Spanish-language TV as it was a sneak preview of its new and returning shows. Company execs reminded attendees that in Spanish-speaking homes, top mainstream shows like “Joe Millionaire” and “Friends” ranked only No. 131 and 189, respectively.
The new schedule will offer the usual heavy doses of primetime and daytime telenovelas — including two U.S.-produced soaps — along with chatshows, news and sports.
Among the new novela crop is Univision’s first inhouse production, “Te amare en silencio,” to be shot entirely in Los Angeles. Also in store for the new schedule is the first interactive novela, “Rebeca,” with viewers to determine the soap’s ending by casting votes on the Internet.
Upcoming Spanish-language movie premieres include Penelope Cruz starrers “Belle Epoque” and “All About My Mother,” both from Spain, and Oscar-nominated Cuban film “Strawberry and Chocolate.”
“Over the past 10 years, our programming has evolved to adapt to the changing preferences of our audience,” said Univision prexy-chief operating officer Ray Rodriguez, who noted Univision’s adult 18-49 total-day audience has growth 186% while mainstream nets ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox audiences declined 25% in the same period.
Univision also was touting its new cross-platform programming and ad sales strategy, where year-old and slightly younger-skewed Telefutura counterprograms the larger Univision network. Galavision, which has struggled in the past, is in the process of refocusing its efforts on live news, sports and live entertainment. Galavision reaches 5.7 million U.S. Hispanic cable subs, or 90% of U.S. Hispanic cable homes. The net’s 2003-04 lineup will add two original sports programs, “Accion” on Sunday nights and “Mas Deporte.”
Telefutura is working to solidify its No. 2 market position behind Univision in key dayparts, in particular among Hispanic men 18-34 and 18-49.
In an effort to be a bit edgier than its sibling net, Telefutura announced plans to launch the first Spanish-language adult-appeal animated series, “Betty Toons,” as well as a combo game-show/reality show, “Armas de Seduccion” (Weapons of Seduction), and a newsroom comedy, “Noticias Calientes” (Hot News). The web’s primetime schedule will draw on a library of some 400 new Hollywood titles dubbed into Spanish, including “The Fifth Element,” “The Mothman Prophecies” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.”