The rise of the Spanish-language television industry appears to be unstoppable in the United States as media outlets that broadcast in English are looking more and more toward a market of 53 million Latinos with $1.2 trillion in purchasing power.
Big networks such as Univision, Telemundo and CNN en Español and local channels like Miami's America TeVe and MegaTV are fighting a marketing battle to capture viewership among a complex and diverse Hispanic audience.
The reward is a piece of the big advertising pie linked to the ever-more-segmented Hispanic TV market which generates up to $4 billion annually, Eduardo Suarez, vice president of programming and production for CNN Latino and CNN en Español, told Efe.
After the consolidation of CNN en Español in Latin America, where it reaches 33 million homes, the network's next challenge is to continue expanding its reach in the United States, where it is present in only 4 million homes.
With the new broadcast channel CNN Latino, which already broadcasts in Miami, New York, Phoenix and Los Angeles, the network is placing its bets not on surpassing in viewership the audience giants such as Univision, but rather in offering "analysis and the why, other angles on the news, compared with the entertainment networks."
A key factor in the success of the sector is based on the ability to "satisfy the appetite of the Latino audience," Alberto Ciurana, Univision's president of programming and content, told Efe.
Despite the fact that Hispanic families want their children to be bilingual, "the content in Spanish is what goes to the heart of our audience," he said.
Univision, the largest Hispanic TV network in the country, is currently having great success, rivaling English-language networks in the Nielsen ratings.
NBC-owned Telemundo, a distant second to Univision in audience share, will continue to "focus strongly on the production of original content," network spokesman Alfredo Richard said.
In contrast to Univision, "which buys content outside the country," Telemundo has its own complete industry oriented toward "producing here for Hispanics," Richard said. EFE