As the ultimate reality TV, sports is the one place where advertisers and agencies are confident that consumers will watch their commercials without skipping or time-shifting, although Steve Mandala EVP Advertising Sales at Univision said at the Upfronts that Univision is unaffected by fragmentation. Let’s take a look at what the networks boasted in terms of Sports content offerings at last week’s Upfronts in New York City.
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ESPN and ESPN Deportes
ESPN says 97% of its viewing occurs live vs. 57% for entertainment programming on broadcast networks. ESPN Deportes announced at its Upfront in New York City new initiatives focused on strengthening the network’s digital video offerings, original content lineup and diverse programming. Special guests included Spanish soccer star David Villa, who recently debuted with MLS’s newest team New York City FC, and ESPN Deportes’ on air commentators including Hugo Sanchez, Alejandro Moreno, Antonietta Collins, Alfredo Lomeli and recent Sports Emmy-award winner Ernesto Jerez. The presentation emphasized the importance of multimedia, multiplatform content and live programming to engage and reach the avid Hispanic sport fans, underscoring their power and relevance in sports consumption. The network’s success in delivering the most diverse sports programming will be the groundwork for the brand’s focus on live, diverse programming in 2016, highlighted by the return of the UEFA European Championship. ESPN will be the exclusive home of the 2016 UEFA European Championship. In addition the Network will be available on Sling TV. The network also launched ESPN Quick Hits, a collection of short-form videos across ESPN Deportes’ digital properties.
impreMedia Activates ESPN Print Extensions
Starting this fall, ESPN Deportes La Revista will expand its editorial offerings by adding Hombre ESPN, a new section dedicated to fashion, lifestyle and culture of the Hispanic athlete, featuring articles, interviews, trends and travel. Hombre ESPN will debut in the August/September issue. impreMedia, one of the leading Hispanic news and information companies in the U.S., continues to publish ESPN Deportes La Revista (circ. 250,000). The magazine publishes six issues per year and is distributed in the top Hispanic DMAs through a matrix structure that includes single copy sales/newsstands and newspaper delivery. George Ayala, VP Advertising Eastern Region, at impreMEdia tells Portada that 250,000 copies are going to be distributed with a matrix distribution model: some inserted into impreMEdia papers the balance newsstand sold.
Regarding ESPN Hombre, Ayala notes that “ESPN-Hombre is a new section within ESPN highlighting the fashion & life style of Latino athletes when not in uniform. It will feature them from formal to sportswear, favorite travel destinations, drinks, technology etc. providing a great environment for Fashion, Auto, Travel, Beverage and other related categories to showcase their products.” He adds that “The ESPN + program for advertisers is simple, we will pick up the ad and run it within our sports section of our newspapers hence extending the reach to over 3,000,000 readers when you combine ESPN and our newspaper readers. There is also an online, mobile, social media and event component to the print program in order to maximize the advertisers reach of US Hispanic men. It’s an offering only ImpreMedia can do to help advertisers reach Latino men in the U.S.”
Univision Deportes’ new offerings include the launch of UD Fantasy, which aims to engage the 41 million players of fantasy sports. Fans will be able to create their own fantasy team and compete for the overall ranking, join private leagues with their friends, and challenge UD talent. “UD Fantasy” will launch in July 2015, for the next Liga MX Apertura and gradually expand to other leagues. A highlight in Univision’s programming is “Copa America Centenario next June in the U.S. A soccer event 100 years in the making. Sixteen national teams, including the United States, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, will compete for the first time on U.S. soil for the championship of all the Americas. Two major soccer confederations.
Azteca’s Viernes Futbolero
“Our ‘Viernes Fútbolero’ (Friday Night Fútbol) sports franchise has become appointment television for our audience delivering major ratings success for our network and our clients,” stated Court Stroud, Executive Vice President, Network Sales and Digital, Azteca America. “This upfront season we continue to innovate and deliver the most value and maximum ROI to our agencies and clients through expanded, cutting-edge, on-air brand integrations, digital content marketing and creative branded entertainment solutions.” More on Azteca’s upfront here.
beIN SPORTS has the exclusive English-language and Spanish-language rights to Copa America, the month-long tournament that will be held in June in Chile featuring the giants of South America including Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay as well as the other CONMEBOL countries and invited nations Mexico and Jamaica.
Telemundo and NBC Universo snatch Concacaf World Cup Qualifier Rights
Telemundo and NBC Universo have won Spanish-language broadcast rights to all CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches played outside of the United States and Mexico in the 2018 and 2022 cycles. The deal was announced last week in New York at the glitzy upfront presentation for the over-the-air network and its sister cable channel. Both brands’ sports properties have been merged into a new NBC Deportes division within Philadelphia-based Comcast’s multimedia empire. For some time now, Telemundo has bought broadcast rights to Mexico’s road World Cup qualifiers, wherever they have been. Each CONCACAF nation owns the rights to its home games. Mexico games have long drawn an audience worth the expense. When it came to United States games, though, the demand didn’t always exist to justify paying the ransoms demanded by Caribbean and Central American nations. So Traffic Sports, CONCACAF’s marketing agency, put the games on closed-circuit or pay-per-view television. For NBC’s Telemundo the deal is a logical extension as it already has the Spanish-language rights to the 2018 World Cup Tournament in Russia and 2022 in Qatar.
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