Univision Touts the Power of Its Audience, Plus Special Guest Bill Clinton

May 13, 2015  •  Post A Comment

By Mike Reynolds — Special to TVWeek

In an interview, Bill Clinton opened Univision’s upfront by saying: “I’m well aware I’m just the warm-up act for Ricky Martin.”

Turns out Martin, who performed a short set after touting “La Banda,” an upcoming talent show of which he is an executive producer and judge, wound up trumping news of the series, which is being developed with Simon Cowell’s SYCO.

The Spanish-language media leader announced that the sophomore season, “La Banda 2,” will put the focus on girls, instead of boys bands, with an eye toward finding “the first ever Latina super group.”

Talent show franchise talk was just among a number of programming announcements made by Univision at the Lyric Theater in New York on May 12.

Alberto Ciurana, president of programming and content, introduced a novella slate from Mexican media behemoth Televisa led by “Antes Muerte Que Lichita” (“Better Dead Than Ordinary”), the transmedia tale of a Lichita (Maite Perroni) toiling in undervalued anonymity at an ad agency before transforming herself into the empowered Alicia. This story features varied storytelling techniques, like one character’s empowerment blog and a novela-within-a-novela that fans can follow online.

Crime drama “Logout” trades in the underworld of the “deep” Internet and its access to drugs, debauchery and death. The show, centering around Diego who spent 15 years in prison only to find out that his sister is still alive but in the hands of sex traffickers, features a second-screen component giving viewers access to digital content in real-time that is part of the linear story.

Also on tap from Televisa: “A Que No Me Dejas Corazon,” a sweet story of young love from the producer of the hit “Amor Bravio,” and “Lo Imperdonable,” a tale of love and revenge starring Ana Brend and Ivan Sanchez.

Where Clinton noted that during his two terms as President two decades ago, many young Hispanics dropped out of school to help support their families, they are now more likely to stay in school, raising their education and prosperity levels as they narrow the wage gap with non-Latinos. “If I were an advertiser, I would study the changing demographics very carefully,” Clinton said.

For his part, Univision executive vice president of ad sales Steve Mandala pointed out that 13 of the top 50 brands advertising on English-language networks still don’t have schedules on Univision.

It’s an absence, he and other executives at Univision can’t fathom given a host of indices favoring the Spanish-language programmer. Mandala noted that Univision’s myriad linear and digital properties reach 49 million unduplicated consumers per month and that Univision and UniMas have averaged 91% live viewing among the 18-to-48 set in prime time this season to date, compared with 54% across the Big 4 networks.

Additionally, 73% of Univision’s weekly prime-time audience doesn’t watch any of the top English-language networks, and perhaps most importantly, 96% don’t fast-forward through commercials.

The author of this piece, Mike Reynolds, is a veteran media and sports reporter and was most recently the news editor at Multichannel News. You can reach him at mikereynolds300@yahoo.com or 914-320-6532. We appreciate Mike making this original piece available to TVWeek.

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