TV Upfronts Review

With billions of dollar at stake, the 2009-2010 TV upfronts took place last week in New York City. Barclays Capital expects the open broadcast upfront to amount to $7.4 billion; UBS estimates that the figure will be about $6.7 billion. Both figures are much lower than last years $9 billion (The Hispanic upfronts amount to approximately 10% of that figure). In the general market, cable upfront sales figures last year were $7.65 and analysts expect that this year the figure will decline up to 10%.

Executives at Spanish-language networks are hoping the Federal government will give them a boost come 2011. Both Univision and Telemundo are optimistic next year's U.S. Census will reveal significant population growth among Hispanics, persuading advertisers to shift more dollars their way. Univision CEO Joe Uva said last week that the census results -- which should be available for networks to use in PowerPoint documents before the upfront two years from now -- "will be another catalyst for marketers to understand the impact of the Hispanic community."


Programming News

Spanish-language media giant Univision Communications Inc. has secured the rights to the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup from South Africa. The World Cup is part of roster of novellas and reality shows the Spanish-language leader has been pitching to advertisers during its upfront presentations this spring.

In June and July 2010, the Univision services will have exclusive Spanish-language rights in the U.S. to the FIFA World Cup from South Africa. Univision will present 56 matches live, with TeleFutura presenting the remaining eight contests. Both TeleFutura and Galavisión will encore 52 games. With entertainment and news programming also producing special World Cup editions, there will be over 400 hours of coverage. Regarding telenovelas, the network will be serving up a number of new entries weekdays, including: Atrevete a Soñar (Dare to Dream), a modern-day ugly duckling story; Un Gancho al Corazon (A Blow to the Heart), a comedy of errors involving an ex-stock car driver and a beautiful female boxer; En Nombre del Amor (In the Name of Love), where two sisters fall in love with the same man and pay dearly; and Verano de Amor (Summer of Love), a summer frolic with young friends in a seaside town.


NBC Universal’s Telemundo
held its Upfront in New York, where the company unveiled its 2009-2010 program line-up and a new branding strategy, titled “To ignite the power of dreams.”  As reported by WorldScreen.com: “In weekday prime time, new originals on the slate include Niños Ricos, Pobres Padres, about a beautiful 17-year-old immigrant girl and her mother, who are forced to move from the U.S. to Mexico City to live with a wealthy aunt. Reina del Sur (Queen of the South) is set in the world of drug trafficking. Victorinos begins with three men born on the same day and each of them named Victorino.

El Clon (The Clone) is adapted from Globo's hit Brazilian novela and focuses on Jade, a beautiful woman born to Moroccan parents who is forced to move to Morocco after the death of her mother.”  “Telemundo's record-breaking ratings performance is providing our advertisers and clients an exceptional value proposition through our high-quality original content and multiple media platforms,” commented Don Browne, president of Telemundo. “Hispanics continue to grow in economic and political power and we are growing with them, outpacing any other major network regardless of language. We’re looking forward to working with our clients to tap into this growth and maximize their investments.”


Discovery en Español’s
main content come from Discovery’s networks stock. This is the central core identity of the channel, or the best of Discovery’s networks with a Spanish voice and it is what has proven as successful in terms of ratings, a spokeswoman for Discovery tells Portada. She adds that  the network also creates high caliber originals but what is central is that the success of the network does not hinge or rest on having to produce programming that is culturally relevant or about Hispanics or issues that are Hispanic.

“It is certainly nice to have and an important component but the Adventures of Josh Bernstein do not have to be the Adventures of Juan Perez for the network to deliver.  This was not only put to the test via research earlier in the year but also shared with advertisers during a presentation delivered at a recent immersion trip to Costa Rica. They had 15 to 18 agencies represented in a VIP trip, which was a grand immersion where they put people through the Discovery experience.” Discovery en Español’s Hispanic specific programming during the 2009 and 2010 season includes “La Ley del Corrido”,  “Maras the Series”, “Crimes that Shook Latin America” and ‘Made in Latin America”.


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