Hispanics Favor Family Shows

Oct 13, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Hispanic television viewers tend to favor reality and children’s programming more than do non-Hispanics, a new study by Initiative reports.
Shows such as “Joe Millionaire,” “American Idol” and “Fear Factor” ranked significantly higher among Hispanics than non-Hispanics, as did family-friendly shows such as “The Simpsons,” “King of the Hill” and “Malcolm in the Middle. ”
Since Hispanic households tend to be younger (nearly half the members are under age 30), the results suggest a more family-oriented viewing pattern, with program choices frequently made by younger viewers. When watching cable, for instance, the No. 1 channel among Hispanics was Cartoon Network.
“Family-oriented programming is definitely one of the drivers,” said Stacey Lynn Koerner, executive VP and director of global research integration at Initiative, a media services firm. “More to the point: Programs that appeal to younger demographics are what drive younger viewers, because younger viewers tend more often to be bilingual, or English-dominant.”
Still, English-language networks have yet to lure the bulk of Hispanic viewers away from Spanish-language outlets. The study said Hispanics, who comprise more than 13 percent of the general population, represent only 6 percent of viewers of English-language networks and watch 7 percent more television hours than non-Hispanics.
Univision is still the top network among Hispanics in prime time, with telenovelas-soap operas-accounting for the majority of its programming. Among English-language networks, Fox is the most popular.
Interestingly, Hispanics do not seem more likely to watch shows that showcase Hispanic actors in supporting roles. This changes when a Hispanic person is in the lead role-as is the case with “George Lopez,” which ranked fifth among Hispanic viewers and No. 71 among non-Hispanics.
Ms. Koerner said the results show that networks trying to reach Hispanic audiences should look to younger-skewing programming, but not necessarily Hispanic-themed programming.
“Networks should introduce programming that’s more younger-skewing and family-skewing,” she said. “Even when you have shows like `George Lopez’ and `Greetings From Tucson,’ these aren’t necessarily going to be No. 1, 2 or 3 among Hispanic audiences.”