It’s been an interesting week for Hispanic media outlets. First, the ratings reports showed Univision is on track to be the most-watched network for the month of July, beating out ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC. Then, the Pew Research Hispanic Center releases a study saying more Hispanics are getting their news on English television, radio, print and online outlets. Huh?
While this sounds like a contradiction, it’s easy to explain. Telenovelas and entertainment programming are huge draws for Spanish-language TV outlets – just look at Univision’s Sabado Gigante, which has been on the air since 1962 and still draws 2.2 million viewers.
For the news, however, the study found a 10 percent drop in the amount of Spanish language news consumption, and a 22 percent drop in the number of viewers that get their news exclusively in Spanish. This can be attributed to a few reasons pointed out by researchers – there are more U.S. born Hispanics, a growing number of adult Latinos speak English well, and immigration has slowed down.
A recent Miami Herald article highlights how the two major Spanish language networks, Univision and Telemundo, are addressing this shift. Univision and ABC joined forces to create Fusion, an English-language news and lifestyle network that targets U.S. Hispanics. In May, Univision also announced that it has partnered with director Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey network, which was specifically created for English-speaking Hispanic millenials.
Telemundo, on the other hand, launched Mun2 back in 2001, a cable channel aimed at young Hispanics and providing 40 percent of its programming in English. The network, however, feels that its strength is in providing Spanish language programming, and its future plans, such as their continued focus on investing in the production of their own telenovelas, are indicative of that. Telemundo’s plan to focus on Spanish content is also the strategy being adopted by other smaller networks, including Azteca America, CNN Latino, CNN’s newest venture, Mega TV, and Fox’s MundoFox.
On the online front, Fox, NBC and ABC all have news sites directed at Hispanics, but are reporting the information in English. VOXXI, the brainchild of former EFE News Agency Miami news editor Emilio Sanchez, launched in February 2012 as an online news and content portal for “Hispanic America,” and has steadily increased its readership. Guess what – it’s written in English as well.
With Hispanics set to become the majority by 2043, companies are best to starting thinking from the Hispanic perspective, while keeping their messages in English.