By Mike Reynolds — Special to TVWeek
When Univision Communications Inc. executives take the stage at the the U.S. Spanish-language media leader’s upfront today, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, there will be plenty of emphasis placed on scale, unduplicated audience, commercial retention and depth of live viewing.
Taking aim at the nation’s nearly 60 million Latinos, with sizable numbers of millennials and bilinguals among them, the presentation, slated for the Lyric Theater in New York City, will note among other things that its portfolio is “the way forward” for clients to reach key targets, including “billennials.”
The event — hosted by UCI President and CEO Randy Falco, president of advertising sales and marketing Keith Turner, evp of ad sales Steve Mandala and featuring a performance by Ricky Martin and interview with former President Bill Clinton — is expected to detail how UCI reaches 49 million unduplicated consumers across its myriad linear and digital platforms, and that its broadcast services flagship network Univision and sister service UniMas (the former TeleFutura) have averaged 91% live viewing among persons 18 to 49 in prime time this season to date, versus 54% across CBS, Fox, NBC and ABC.
Moreover, 73% of Univision’s weekly prime-time audience doesn’t watch any of the top English-language networks, and perhaps most important, 96% don’t fast-forward through commercials. The programmer plans to supplement these points by referencing a host of data indices from Nielsen, Keller Fay, Polk, NPD and its own UCI Performance market that show its vehicles are the smart choice to plunk down budgets that not only reach Hispanics, but resonate with and draw reactions from this culturally and economically powerful community that continues to expand its influence.
“The Hispanic community is a bold, dynamic force fueling the growth of this country and influencing our economy, culture and policymaking across the board,” said Falco in a release. “Hispanics represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. population and are projected to fuel the country’s growth. This is our audience, and we are here to show marketers that in addition to being 57 million strong, Hispanics are young, bilingual, upwardly mobile, socially engaged and digitally savvy. What’s more, they have a deep connection with Univision that is unrivaled — only Univision is the Hispanic community’s most recognized and trusted brand. It’s clear that our audience is the way forward for marketers to grow their brands.”
To underline those points, Univision will roll out a brand messaging campaign — “Todo es Posible” (Everything Is Possible) — highlighting its core values and the affinity Hispanic America has with the network.
The company will take further aim at its young, bilingual audience with billennial fare set to air on Univision, UniMas, Fusion and El Rey, among other properties. Shows centering on true-events-based stories, strong female characters, and shows with elements of mystery or suspense abound: These new billennial-focused shows slated for the new broadcast season include, La Viuda Negra 2, Lady, Niño Santo, Logout, Ruta 35 and Esmeraldas.
Additionally, the Univision Network — which airs 19 of the top 20 programs for billennials — is delivering a new slate of telenovelas that have a contemporary spin to cater to a youthful audience. They include “El Color de la Pasion,” “A Que No Me Dejas Corazon,” “Lo Imperdonable” and “Antes Muerta que Lichita,” which also features innovative digital content.
Speaking of digital, Univision Deportes will play harder in the sports arena, unveiling a new website featuring live-game experiences, stats and social segments. It will also house a new platform — UD Fantasy — facilitating engagement with 41 million fanaticos. The service is scheduled to kick off in July in concert with the bow of the Apertura of Liga MX, Mexico’s top league. Univision Deportes continues to serve up exclusive coverage of what is North America’s most-viewed soccer circuit.
In June 2016, various UCI vehicles will showcase Copa America Centenario — the 100th anniversary tournament featuring national teams from South and North America — which executives say could generate audiences that will exceed those of the 2014 World Cup from Brazil. The 16-team tourney comprises sides from CONMEBOL, including Brazil and Argentina, as well as CONCAF’s Mexico and the U.S.
With UniMas already presenting the Miss America affair, Univision has added the exclusive Spanish-language broadcast and digital rights to the Miss Universe pageant, in which contestants from 88 nations strut their stuff in swimsuit, evening gown and interview segments, through 2019.
Playing into what executives say is the most social consumer segment in the nation, Univision will honor the most influential social media players and celebrities with the prime-time Social Media Awards. The program, recognizing celebrities and Web personalities that produce content on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Vine, figures to draw millions of linear watchers and engage millions more digital followers from the various platforms.
With Clinton in the house, Univision Noticias will also step to the fore in the months ahead as the next presidential election cycle whirs into full gear.
Destino 2016: Elections and More will serve as the umbrella title for the news organization’s coverage that will look beyond the universe of party politics, informing and empowering our civic-minded viewers with innovative storytelling. Emmy Award-winning anchors Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas, the biggest names in Hispanic news, serve as the voice of the Hispanic community.
Destino 2016: The Hispanic Vote will keep close tabs on the Hispanic electorate over four stages: kickoff on Super Tuesday (March 2016); the conventions in July and August; coverage around VP and presidential debates, following the candidates on the road, and wall-to-wall election day/night presentations in October and November; and finally with the Presidential Inauguration in January the following year.
The news unit will also help the network say goodbye to the legendary Don Francisco, as Mario Kreutzberger concludes his 53-year run hosting the venerable variety series “Sabado Gigante” in September. “Don Francisco El Ultimo Gigante” documents the history and achievements of the man with the longest on-air career in TV history, as well as his future plans.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-320-6532. We appreciate Mike making this original piece available to TVWeek.