HispanicAd in association with Adam R Jacobson are proud to announce the availability of the 2018 Hispanic TV Upront Report.
To view and download CLICK HERE.
WHY ARE THE UPFRONTS STILL A THING?
By Adam R Jacobson, Publisher, Hispanic Market Overview
Many years ago, as an editor for the now-defunct music industry trade publication Radio & Records (R&R), I created a Special Report focused on what still safely called “Oldies” music, along with Classic Rock, as it applied to radio stations swiftly loosing ad dollars due to an aging audience. There was also this thing called the internet, and satellite radio services such as Sirius and XM.
Could Oldies or Classic Rock survive the 2000s? One did, one didn’t.
The theme of this report was “Roll With the Changes,” the title of an REO Speedwagon song one hardly ever hears on Classic Rock radio anymore.
This theme weaves perfectly with the state of the U.S. television industry today. There are many, many changes unfolding each and every day, and the question some in the media industry may be asking themselves and their team is this: What’s next, and what
do we do?
For all of the talk of television being in its second Golden Age, television is also at a critical junction in its life as a primary and dominant delivery vehicle for visual entertainment.
Until 2017, Hispanic television was largely protected from the troubles brewing for its English-language brethren on both the broadcast and cable sides of the TV business. Today, it has been shoved onto the Video Entertainment Cyclone that rides up and down faster and bumpier than that rickety old rollercoaster down in Coney Island.
Is Hispanic television now imperiled, ready to be cast aside for digitally driven “over the top” (OTT) choices and social media galore?
You know the answer. And, hopefully, it is being loudly delivered the week of May 14, 2018, as the TV industry’s Upfronts once again take place across midtown Manhattan.
But … why is Hispanic TV’s future still as bright as ever? Five years ago, this publication was distributed by both HispanicAd.com and Broadcasting & Cable magazine. Today, B&C/Multichannel News no longer publishes a monthly Hispanic Television Update, effective December 2016. The 2013 edition included features on Nuvo TV, Tr3s, and MundoFox. All three networks are defunct, with Tr3s in the U.S. now its Latin American feed. Lavish events in New York from Discovery U.S. Hispanic are now a thing of the past, too.
Meanwhile, Telemundo conducted an excellent pre-Upfront presentation to the press via video webinar from its gleaming new Doral, Fla., facility on May 10; it no longer has its own Upfront event and instead is rolled in to all of NBCUniversal’s networks.
Univision conducted a bilingual conference call that included newly minted President of Televisa Studios Patricio Wills; the company is the last to offer a Hispanic-exclusive Upfront Week event.
A newly invigorated Azteca América released its Upfront information one month ago. ESPN Deportes’ Upfront is now rolled in to the main ESPN presentation scheduled for May 15; network representatives declined to share new programming details prior to our deadline.
Thus, this is the not the end of Hispanic television’s “epoca de oro.” Rather, this is simply the end of the Upfront dog-and- pony show as we knew it.
Even so, Hispanic media must be cognizant of the new challenges presented in particular by Netflix. As of this writing, two Spanish-language television shows are capturing Latino subscribers. One, from Spain’s TVE, is El Ministerio del Tiempo, a family-friendly offering that pairs three unlikely individuals from different eras in Spain’s history as time-traveling sleuths working for the Ministry of Time in Madrid. The other is La Casa de Papel, an Antenna 3 suspense drama from Spain, told in real time, about a money heist of a Euro printing facility by a group of misfit criminals led by a mastermind
known as “The Professor.” It’s a smash hit in countries including Argentina and Turkey, with a theme song that has charted in each of these nations. Netflix recently confirmed that it has given the green light to a third season.
The style of these shows can’t be found on Univision, or Telemundo — although the new fall programming slate includes some very intriguing programming. Telemundo has an ambitious take on a popular German series that could easily be found on Netflix,
based on the trailers. Univision, for its part, is encouraging “family-friendly programming” while taking a swipe at its competitors for hopping aboard the Narcotrén and hyperfocusing on a genre of programming that may be too adult for younger audiences.
For the Hispanic TV network, the Upfronts are still vital. But, gatherings in New York across three hectic days full of alcohol, hors d’oeuvres, and hopscotching around midtown are simply no longer necessary. Road shows are more effective. Telling the entire story of how Hispanics view English-language TV, and how they still need
Spanish-language TV, is essential.
This is the reality of Hispanic TV in 2019, and for the next several years, as disruption leads to destruction. You don’t want to hear it, but we have no fear in telling you the truth. Broadcast TV will remain exceptionally strong in the years to come, thanks to
ATSC 3.0 – the next-gen digital broadcast standard the FCC recently approved for voluntary implementation. An NBC affiliate in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., is the guinea pig for this rollout, which promises better sound and picture-window broadcasts. Attendees
of the 2017 NAB Show and 2018 NAB Show in Las Vegas saw first-hand what this technology will bring to viewers. It’s astounding.
And, it doesn’t require cable. In any metropolitan area, one can simply become a cord-cutter and buy a $25 digital TV antenna at Best Buy. That’s great news for Telemundo, Univision, Azteca América, and Liberman Broadcasting’s Estrella TV, in addition to SBS’s Mega TV, Meruelo Media’s KWHY-22 in Los Angeles, and the America CV operation in Miami.
It’s not-so- great news for the 70-odd cable television channels that continue their quest for Hispanic audiences in the U.S. Will MVPDs deep-discount their “Latino tier” subscription packages in order to retain subscribers and continue to attract new customers? Or, will some cable networks simply shut down as relics of a prior world
without digitally delivered choices one can access in the palm of their hand – and not on a stationary TV mounted to a wall in a particular room?
There is one solution that makes sense, and it is one that Hispanic advertising agencies and multicultural marketing managers have been preaching for the last several years. It is simple: Hispanic TV must be relevant and resonant.
We’ve talked ad nauseum about ads needing to be reflective of the product or service’s target audience. But, there’s been nary a word about the programming being reflective of the audience.
With an abundance of content available and NATPE Miami growing into one of the most important conferences and expos for the global television industry – one where the buying and selling of program rights is a highlight – Hispanic TV must follow the advice
that multicultural marketers and brand managers have digested. Spanish-language TV has a home in the hogar because it is a unique culture play.
And, believe it or not, language matters. In 2011, Mintel reports focused on U.S. Hispanic consumers repeatedly noted that, even in English-dominant homes, the use of Spanish could still be found. Why? Because these homes were English-dominant, not
Seven years later, we kindly remind our readers that this is probably truer today. As Hispanic population growth is fed by U.S. births, not by immigration, there will be growth in English-language use. Millennials still dominate marketers’ conversations (even
though they don’t spend as much as those with an AARP card, but that’s an argument for Madison Avenue).
Our point here: Yeah, Hispanic kids are growing up using lots of English. But, that doesn’t mean they aren’t using Spanish, or consuming at least one show in their lengua patria.
This is why Hispanic TV has a future.
The road it takes to keep it relevant and resonant is up to them.
2018 Hispanic TV Upfront Guide Presented by HispanicAd.com