Azteca America


What: Azteca America, a U.S.-based, Spanish-language network wholly-owned by HC2 Network Inc., a subsidiary of HC2 Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HCHC), unveiled its 2018-2019 programming line-up at its annual upfront presentation in New York City. We talked to Craig Geller, Executive VP, Network Sales, Digital, and Marketing, about what’s next for Azteca America this year.
Why it matters: Azteca America enters this upfront season on the heels of a recent acquisition by HC2 Network Inc., which provides expanded distribution and scale across its linear and digital channels.

As part of this year’s upfront season, Azteca America presented its programming for this year in New York City. Among their new offering, they will have a few original series including a reality show, updated findings from a recent Nielsen study, a network-wide initiative celebrating Hispanic women in the U.S., and the return of the Miss Universe competition to the network. Portada talked to Craig Geller, Executive Vice President, Network Sales, Digital and Marketing at Azteca America, to find out what’s next for their positioning after the HC2 acquisition.

Portada: Azteca America is now owned by HC2. In what way has Azteca America’s positioning/ strategy changed as a result of this?

Craig Geller: “Our positioning and our strategy of strength, stability and scalability have not changed. What has changed, is the ability to execute against that plan with a company that wants to bring valuable content, grow the viewership and solidify the organization’s competitive positioning for the changing media landscape.”

Portada: In your experience, how has the Hispanic marketing landscape evolved over the last years?

C.G.: “The Hispanic media landscape has changed in that today versus years ago, there are so many more choices for consumers. Choices used to be limited but this has evolved. Choice has led to change, change has led to opportunity and opportunity has led to growth.” 

Portada: What has been Azteca America’s role in this evolution?

C.G.: “Our role is to provide opportunity and choice not just to the viewer, but also to the advertisers. In addition, our counterprogramming strategy distinctly separates us from our competition and our ability to provide impactful solutions to advertisers has resonated and worked.” 

Portada: Which are the opportunities when targeting Spanish-speaking audiences in the U.S?

C.G.: “Anytime that you can connect with this viewer, you earn a loyal consumer. Data shows us that there is a tremendous opportunity to reach and connect with the U.S. Latina as well as with U.S. Millennials.”

Portada: Which are the salient features of Azteca America’s offering at the upfronts in terms of programming?

C.G.: “We will continue our counterprogramming strategy that has been a success for Azteca in past years. We want to provide our audience with the greatest in entertainment, from game showand reality series to scripted series and novelas, as well as news and sports, anywhere, anytime and on any screen.”

Azteca America is willing to take calculated risks that create opportunities for our advertisers and partners to engage deeper with our audience leading to growth.

Portada: What distinguishes Azteca America’s offering from its competitors?

C.G.: “Azteca America today is well positioned versus our competition to actually capture and grow the audience in that we can take the best of what TV Azteca in Mexico has to offerproduce our own original content and purchase content that has already run in Latin America and that has had proven success. This is our competitive advantage. Azteca America is willing to take calculated risks that create opportunities for our advertisers and partners to engage deeper with our audience leading to growth.”

Portada: Do you distinguish between digital (OTT) offering and linear broadcast offering when working with your clients?

C.G.: “Providing an audience to a client is agnostic to the screen. The difference is the way that agencies are aligned. Our offerings have to be defined because the way that the agencies look to purchase audience may be siloed. What that says is that not everybody is a video investment buyer. You may have someone who buys digital and someone who buys TV. More and more those people are being more aligned to just buy video, but today it’s not a one-size-fits-all in terms of how the agencies are structured to go out and buy video content.” 

Portada: Do you have programming around the 2018 World Cup?

C.G.: “As part of our programming agreement with TV Azteca, we will be airing “Pasión Rusia,” on Azteca America. In addition, our website will have a dedicated page to the global sporting event. Through our partnership with Mexico’s popular sports magazine, Fútbol Total and the contributions of EFE journalists covering the event, we will be able to bring the excitement and passion to our viewers this summer.

This is a prime example of how we continue to leverage our relationship with TV Azteca, providing a competitive edge.” 

Portada: What is the role of data analytics in Azteca’s programming plans?

C.G.: “Data science and market intelligence play an integral role in our programming strategy. Understanding the viewers’ journey, their tastes and desires in terms of content, is always going to be at the forefront of everything we do.” 

What: TV Azteca has revealed a net growth of 11% in 2017. The company also announced the sale of Azteca America.
Why it matters: TV Azteca has been reinventing itself since 2017; their strategic purpose is focusing on solid media operations in Mexico and maximum profitability abroad.

TV Azteca, one of the two largest producers of Spanish-language television programming in the world, announced financial results for the fourth quarter 2017 and full year 2017.

“TV Azteca began the reinvention process two years ago that laid the foundation for a new era,” said TV Azteca CEO Benjamín Salinas. “The content generated during 2016 and 2017 has given good results and today the audience recognizes the moment of TV Azteca with greater viewership and time spent on our screens.”

Net sales for the quarter were MX $4,005 million, 7% higher than the MX $3,727 million for the same quarter of last year.

“2018 will be a year of consolidation for TV Azteca. The challenge will be to achieve more and better monetization given the opportunity offered by a growing audience on our four broadcast networks,” added Salinas.

Domestic results

Domestic advertising sales grew 6% to MX $3,623 million from MX $3,414 million. Production, programming, and transmission costs were MX $1,862 million, 24% higher than a year ago.

Contribution generated by operations of the media business in Mexico was MX $1,761 million, compared to the MX $1,908 million of the previous year.

U.S. Exports

Content sales to the United States totaled MX $175 million, as opposed to the MX $64 million from the previous year. Revenue for the quarter resulted, to a great extent, from the sale of exhibition rights to matches of the national soccer team and teams from the first division of the Mexican soccer league.

Costs for such content were Ps.100 million, compared to Ps.43 million for the previous year. As a result, the contribution derived from this business segment was Ps.75 million this period, compared to Ps.21 million a year ago.

Sale of assets of Azteca America

TV Azteca announced that in line with the company’s strategic purpose, the company sold the assets of Azteca America to HC2 Network Inc., a holding company based in New York City.

Through this transaction, HC2 Network acquired Azteca America, some rights to part of its programming inventory, marketing, advertising sales, assets, results, and operations. The transaction also includes a seven-year programming and services agreement that will allow HC2 Network to have access, under certain rules, to TV Azteca’s library and programming in Mexico, including certain entertainment shows, talk shows, reality programs, news, series, and telenovelas.

What: HC2 Holdings, Inc. subsidiary HC2 Network Inc. has acquired Spanish-language broadcast network Azteca America. The deal includes licensing agreement with TV Azteca for Spanish-Language TV programming; Acquisition of Television Stations from Northstar Media will expand HC2’s Broadcasting Network to 113 operating stations in over 80 U.S. markets.
Why it matters: Azteca America’s offering may be better  monetized as part of a larger U.S. company. The transaction reflects the de facto exit of the second largest Mexican broadcaster of direct ownership in the U.S. broadcasting business.

HC2 Holdings, Inc., a diversified holding company, announced that its subsidiary, HC2 Network Inc., has acquired Azteca America, a Spanish-language broadcast network, from affiliates of TV Azteca, S.A.B. de C.V., one of the two largest producers of Spanish-language television programming in the world. In addition, HC2 Network has signed a definitive acquisition agreement with Northstar Media, LLC, a licensee of numerous broadcast television licenses in the United States.

“We are very excited about the transactions we announced this afternoon as they build upon our Broadcast strategy of acquiring broadcast assets across the United States to bring valuable content to more viewers over-the-air.  For example, the TV Azteca licensing agreement will enable our larger broadcast network, which includes our prior acquisitions of DTV America, Mako Communications, Three Angels Broadcasting, etc., as well as the Northstar stations (if approved by the FCC), to bring Spanish-language programming to even more of a large,  growing  and underserved market in the Spanish Speaking population in the U.S.  Unfortunately, the purchase consideration was not disclosed,”Andrew G. Backman, Managing Director Investor Relations & Public Relations at HC2 Holdings, Inc told Portada.

Under the agreement with Azteca, which has been already closed, HC2 Network acquired Azteca America, a Spanish-language broadcast network providing original content to the Hispanic audience in the United States. Under the agreement with Northstar, HC2 Network will acquire Northstar’s broadcast television stations, which carry Azteca America programming.

The Azteca transaction extends to the acquisition of professional staff across the U.S. involved in programming, marketing, advertising sales, finance and operations. The Northstar transaction, which is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), as well as other customary closing conditions, would result in HC2 Network acquiring 19 television stations, including two full-power stations, eight Class A stations and eight low power television (“LPTV”) stations, along with a channel share agreement for the full-power license of KEMO-TV in San Francisco.

In combination with HC2’s previously announced acquisitions of a controlling equity interest in DTV America Corporation, which currently carries Azteca video programming in 10 markets, and of the broadcasting assets of Mako Communications, LLC and its affiliates, Three Angels Broadcasting Network, Inc., and other station licensees, the acquisition of the 19 Northstar television stations would expand HC2’s broadcasting network to 113 operating stations, including three full-power stations (inclusive of the channel-share agreement for KEMO-TV in San Francisco), 27 Class A stations and 83 LPTV stations, in over 80 markets across the United States. In addition, the acquisitions increase HC2’s construction permits to 475, allowing for further buildout of coverage across the United States.

The Azteca transaction also includes multi-year programming and services agreement that provides HC2 with access to TV Azteca’s current programming and library in Mexico, including top entertainment shows, talk shows, reality programs, network and local news, as well as telenovelas and other scripted series.

With 41 million native Spanish speakers in addition to 11.6 million who are bilingual, the United States now has more Spanish speakers than Spain and is second only to Mexico.

“The acquisitions of Azteca America and the Northstar stations will substantially expand and accelerate our investment in broadcasting,” said Philip Falcone, HC2’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Throughout 2017, we have strategically acquired broadcast assets across the country. Our vision is to capitalize on the opportunities to bring valuable content to more viewers over-the-air and position the Company for the changing media landscape. Our licensing agreement with TV Azteca will enable our larger broadcast network to bring compelling, Spanish-language programming to even more of the large, growing and underserved Spanish-speaking population in the U.S. At the same time, the combination of our network assets will generate opportunities for cost synergies through the rationalization of duplicative operations.”

“Today’s announcement marks an exciting and transformative milestone in Azteca America’s history,” said Manuel Abud, President and CEO, Azteca America. “We believe HC2 Network’s long-term investment and resources better position us, on a greater scale, to be an industry leader delivering best-in-class programming, production value and marketing solutions to our audiences and partners alike. Our shared business strategies and industry expertise makes this a perfect alliance to meet the ever-changing demands of the marketplace and further solidify Azteca America as an industry leader in premium Spanish-language content.”

“This alliance unlocks new opportunities for TV Azteca to expand our distribution arm in the United States and provide our world-class programming to new audiences,” said Benjamin Salinas, Chief Executive Officer, TV Azteca. “We look forward to forging future content collaborations with HC2 and Azteca America.”

The Latino population in the United States reached nearly 58 million in 2016 and has been the principal driver of U.S. demographic growth, accounting for half of national population growth since 2000.1 With 41 million native Spanish speakers in addition to 11.6 million who are bilingual, the United States now has more Spanish speakers than Spain and is second only to Mexico. The U.S. Census Office estimates that the U.S. will have 138 million Spanish speakers by 2050, making it the biggest Spanish-speaking country in the world.2

Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

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Ivan Pollard has been appointed global chief marketing officer at General Mills. He was most recently senior VP-strategic marketing at Coca-Cola North America and spent six years with Coke. Pollard was also a global partner at Naked Communications and held posts at Wieden+Kennedy and DDB Needham.



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Entravision Communications Corporation announced that beginning July 3, 2017, the local news programming lineup for XHAS-TV will make an affiliation change to Azteca America in the San Diego market. The new affiliation partnership will allow Entravision the opportunity to strengthen its connection across multiple platforms to the diverse Latino audience who make San Diego and Tijuana their home.


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What: Azteca Los Angeles 54 announced an exclusive multiyear agreement as the Los Angeles Chargers Spanish-language flagship television station and broadcaster. Meanwhile, cognac brand Hennessey became the exclusive partner of boxer Canelo Alvarez.
Why it matters: Both partnerships reflect the brand’s and channel’s interest to connect with the Hispanic audience in the U.S.

Azteca.jpgThrough an exclusive multiyear agreement, Azteca and Los Angeles Chargers (a team that had been playing in San Diego until last season) are seeking to reach the Hispanic audience through the Spanish-language broadcast of three preseason games.

In addition, they are looking to expand the broadcast to reach fans and viewers throughout all of Southern California.

“We are excited to serve as the flagship Spanish-language station for the Los Angeles Chargers preseason games as they “Fight for LA,’” said on a statement Enrique Perez, Executive Vice President, Azteca America Station Group. “Our viewers throughout Southern California will be able to watch the games live as well as participate in team-supported community events for fans of all ages in the local LA area.”

Los Angeles Chargers

Our viewers throughout Southern California will be able to watch the games live as well as participate in team-supported community events for fans of all ages in the local LA area.

Beginning in September, and continuing through the NFL season, Azteca Los Angeles will broadcast a weekly primetime show featuring Los Angeles Chargers highlights and expert commentary that will provide viewers and fans with behind-the-scenes coverage.

The partnership also will include cross promotion on all social media and digital platforms for Azteca Los Angeles 54 and the LA Chargers.

“We strive to provide Chargers fans with the best experience in every way possible,” said A.G. Spanos, Chargers President of Business Operations. “In this case, unparalleled television access throughout the LA region. This partnership only serves to enhance this priority.”

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Canelo Alvarez Signs With Hennessey

Canelo Alvarez
Canelo Alvarez (Photo: Twitter)

As the world’s best-selling cognac, Hennessey decided to join the boxing industry by signing an exclusive partnership with current WBC Light Middleweight Champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (and management/ promotions firm Golden Boy Promotions), through HOMBRE Magazine.
Hennessy will use Canelo’s upcoming fight against Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. at the Las Vegas  T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, May 6th, as an opportunity to kick off their Golden Boy/ Canelo Alvarez partnership.

“Like Hennessy, the Alvarez family lives the mantra of ‘Never stop. Never settle.’ Canelo and Hennessy recognize the importance of community and family in building a successful and enduring legacy,” said Giles Woodyer, Senior Vice President at Hennessey, through an official statement.

Hennessy USAlvarez’s relationship with Hennessy also marks a groundbreaking moment for the Latin community. The fact that such an international label selected a fighter of Mexican heritage to join in this partnership is a major triumph for Latinos.

“We hope that consumers across all demographics will enjoy Canelo’s personal story of pushing the limits of potential. He embodies the spirit, determination and relentless pursuit that inspires us and we hope that it will inspire others,” Woodyer added.

We hope that consumers across all demographics will enjoy Canelo’s personal story of pushing the limits of potential.

Azteca America seems to have found an answer  to president Trump’s plans for a wall between Mexico and the United States. And media buyers at agencies may like it: the network kicked off its 2017-2018 upfront roadshow in New York by announcing a timely new original production, “El Muro” (The Wall), a hauntingly familiar drama, ripped-from-the-headlines scripted series.

“El Muro” (The Wall) is being produced in Mexico and the United States and is scheduled for broadcast in early 2018.“ Is produced exclusively for Azteca America in the United States. Set on the border between Arizona and Mexico, this hauntingly familiar drama brings to life one of the most controversial topics in the country today. The series tells the love story between Adriana, an undocumented immigrant, and Calixto, the immigration officer in charge of her deportation. Their story unfolds in a new programming format – ten individual stories (5 episodes each, 50 total) revolving around one central narrative. This ripped-from-the-headlines series will hit home on a topic close to many Azteca viewers.
Azteca Americas also announced the return of MISS UNIVERSE® as well as new capabilities for advertisers through programmatic and over-the-top (OTT) platforms. The announcements were made by Azteca America executives Manuel Abud, President and Chief Executive Officer; Craig Geller, Executive Vice President, Network Sales and Digital; and Margarita Black, Vice President of Programming at The Times Center in New York City.

Manuel Abud, CEO, Azteca AmericaThe network finished the broadcast season as the fastest-growing, Spanish-language broadcast network in primetime for 2015-2016 among total viewers (+33%), adults 18-49 (+28%) and adults 18-34 (+29%), according to Nielsen. This marks the second consecutive season that Azteca has outpaced the growth of all other Spanish-language broadcasters in the adults 18-49 and 18-34 demos. In primetime, the network reached more than 12.3 million total viewers and 6.3 million adults 18-49.
“After three years of experiencing substantial ratings growth, we are excited to present the most robust lineup to ever air on our screen,” said Abud. “These programming investments further reinforce Azteca America’s commitment to our audience by delivering relevant, world-class programming of the highest production quality and expanding our distribution to reach more U.S. Hispanic households.”

Miami Stop

New to Azteca’s Upfront mix is a stop in Miami (April 6) to meet the demand of advertisers in this important Hispanic market now served by a full-power Azteca station, WGEN. In addition to New York and Miami, Azteca will hold meetings in Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas.

Selling Solutions, Not Inventory

Craig Geller emphasized that Azteca America is selling solutions to advertisers, not inventory. that “This year, we continue to collaborate with advertisers to create customized and effective multi-screen marketing solutions through our proven total-market, consultative approach,” added Geller. “Unlike the rest of the marketplace, our viewers spent 58% more time watching Azteca than the previous season; a remarkable 28% year-over-year increase.”

2017-2018 Programming …

In addition to “EL Muro” Azteca is announcing a new original scripted series in its primetime grid called “El Manicomio” (“Mental Hospital”): Azteca’s new thriller is a series about Mariana, a passionate reporter, whose grandmother mysteriously dies in a psychiatric hospital. Mariana suspects her grandmother’s death was not due to natural causes, and she pays a high price to discover the truth – she checks herself into the hospital as clinically insane to conduct a deeper investigation. Mariana must uncover the truth before her obsession with the investigation can justify the hospital’s intent to keep her locked up for the rest of her life. Produced in Mexico for Azteca America, this thirteen-episode, hour-long series will get viewers hooked from the start.

New Dramatic Series …

“Vis a Vis”: This intense prison thriller tells the story of Macarena Ferreiro, a young naive woman who falls in love with her boss and is manipulated by him to participate in illegal activity. She is sentenced to seven years in prison and is faced with the day-to-day dangers of being incarcerated. Macarena quickly realizes that in order to survive her time in jail, she will need to change her ways and adhere to a prisoner’s code.

“Relatos Misteriosos” (“Mystical Tales”): This series brings to life the world’s most intriguing mysteries through documentary-style dramatizations and reenactments. The hour-long co-production appeals to Azteca viewers’ passion for all things supernatural as they are called to question – are these stories mere coincidences or is there more we don’t k

Content Partnership with Turkish Media Giant

Azteca America has secured an exclusive content partnership with Turkish media giant, KANAL D, for more than 1,000 hours of Turkish drama series. Among the dramas coming to the network are: “For My Son,” a series about an ex-cop tasked to an undercover mission within Istanbul’s biggest mafia, while trying to reunite with his son; “Crossroads,” a drama/comedy series about a rich family that loses everything; and “Matter of Respect,” the story of a son who seeks revenge on the mafia for causing his father’s suicide. The complex, family-oriented storylines, exotic locations, beautiful actors, and high production values of KANAL D’s content are a hit with Hispanic viewers, and this deal brings even more diversity to Azteca’s programming slate.

Returning Programming

Returning this upcoming season are prime time favorites:

“Venga la Alegría” is a popular midday entertainment show with segments appealing to all audiences. The show features beauty tips, cooking lessons, games, comedy sketches, and health and nutrition advice presented by hosts Patricio Borghetti, Vanessa Claudio, Ingrid Coronado, Sergio Sepulveda, Tábata Jalil, “El Capi” Pérez, Mariano Sandoval, Ricardo Casares and Natalia Venezuela.

“Ventaneando” continues to be the go-to destination for juicy celebrity news from all over the U.S. and Mexico – exclusively on Azteca. Iconic hostess Pati Chapoy and her team, Atala Sarmiento, Jimena Pérez “La Choco,” Daniel Bisogno, and Pedro Sola, serve up the hottest celebrity coverage. This season brings viewers more exclusive stories, surprising gossip and scandalous secrets!

“Al Extremo” is a newsmagazine show that dares to tell what other television programs will not air. Hosting the show is the distinguished pair Verónica del Castillo and Juan Barragan. Gaby Crassus brings the show’s signature thrills to weekends with “Al Extremo Fin de Semana.” “Al Extremo” presents video clips covering a range of extraordinary events caught on tape, from gritty moments to humorous videos depicting life’s lighter times. Tales of human interest, police stories, crime scenes, miraculous events, and the most audacious entertainment news make for an extreme hour of television viewing.

Rafael Mercadante and Adianez Hérnandez host “Escape Perfecto.” A team of two contestants work together to complete trivia and physical challenges to grab prizes from a gigantic cage before the doors slam shut. With increasingly difficult questions for each of the 10 rounds, the team is offered bigger prizes with less time to answer the question correctly. Halfway through, the team will decide whether it wants to escape with the prizes it has, or risk it all for the major prize selected at the beginning of the game.

In its seventh season, “La Isla” is a reality show that pits three groups of contestants against each other. The participants will test their mental and physical strength and their abilities in the battle to determine who will take home the cash prize. Once again, Alejandro Lukini returns as the host, welcoming the participants and accompanying them throughout their journey.

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Yesterday’s announcement of the FCC, by which the U.S. regulator allows foreign ownership of Univision to exceed the mandatory 25% ceiling up to 49%  is major news. As a result of the ruling, Televisa will increase its stake to 40%. 6 ways this may impact the largest media company targeting Hispanic audiences in the U.S and the multicultural marketing space.

1. A “White Knight” Rescue for Univision

descargaThe FCC ruling is a big relief for Univision. “Without this ruling, Univision would remain cash strapped, hindering its ability to pull itself out of the current ratings slump,” Court Stroud a long time Hispanic TV executive tells Portada. “The company would continue to decline, either divesting divisions or holding a fire sale. The FCC decision is a white knight rescue for Univision,” Stroud adds.

2. Televisa gets Effective Control of Univision

televisaBy swapping debt into stock, the Mexican media giant Televisa now is by far the largest shareholder in Univision. In addition to the sizable economic and political interest the Mexican broadcaster has in Univision, it also gets significant royalties from Univision’s Spanish-language media sales. Televisa supplies about 35% of Univision’s television programming and more than half of its content across other platforms. In fact in a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Univision of July 2015, Televisa negotiated higher royalties for 2018 and beyond. “Effective January 1, 2015 and through December 2017, the royalty rate on substantially all of Univision’s Spanish-language media networks revenue is 11.84 percent. Starting January 1, 2018, the royalty rate will increase to 16.13 percent.’ Televisa has a tremendous vested interest in Univision’s growth (even more if we take into account that Univision’s revenues are in dollars while the Mexican peso – Televisa is a Mexico City headquartered company  has seen a substantial devaluation since Trump became president-elect in the U.S).

3. More Resources to Invest in Programming that Specifically Targets U.S. Audiences

Univision’s longtime rival Telemundo has seen gains in its prime-time lineup. This is attributed to the fact that Telemundo specifically invests in content targeting U.S. Hispanics. Televisa Spanish-language programming is mostly targeting the Mexican consumer and re-aired in the  U.S. Televisa now has an increased incentive, because of its higher stake in Univision, to produce content for Univision that specifically targets the U.S. Hispanic consumer, including bilingual and English-dominant audiences. More and better content in the U.S. Hispanic TV and video markets should provide better options for the Hispanic consumer and beyond.

4… and  for Marketing the new U.S. Sports Broadcast Rights of Mexican Soccer Clubs

Seleccion Mexicana de FutbolWhile Univision lost to Telemundo the 2018 and 2022 World Cup broadcast rights (or it just didn’t want to pay as much), it still has a very sizable amount of broadcast rights including UEFA match rights as well as MLS and Mexican National Team performances in the U.S. In fact, it is well-known in the market that Univisioin recently bought U.S. broadcast rights of several Mexican Soccer Teams from Azteca America (including those of Atlas, Santos Laguna, Monarcas  de Morelia and Club Tijuana, Azteca will keep the rights for these clubs in the Mexican market).

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5. Less of a Debt Burden for Univision …

2013 ChallengesIn addition to a somewhat lackluster rating performance, what mostly has plagued Univision over the last few years is its very high debt load (US$ 9.3 billion at the end of 2015). This is the result of the 12.3 billion LBO (Leverage Buyout) of 2006, done at the top of the  market, which was led by financier  Haim Saban and other private investor groups. Struggling to make payments the company cut back on programming and late last year announced staff cuts of approximately 250 employees. Now with the increased Televisa stake and less debt, Univision’s financial freedom has increased.

6…. and less Pressure for an IPO, which Becomes less Likely

With the increased Televisa stake and investment Univision has less of a need to look for financing at events like an IPO. At current stock price levels of major U.S. broadcasters (depressed due to cord cutting and  other factors), Univision’s IPO price would be way below the US $ 12.3 billion valuation of the 2006 LBO. In fact, under this new scenario it is very unlikely that an IPO will happen anytime soon. However, in today’s press release Univision still talks about an IPO: “The FCC’s decision will enable Univision to accommodate increased foreign investment that may result from share purchases by the public in an IPO while enabling Televisa (an existing investor in, and business partner of, Univision) to increase its current equity stake in the company.”

What: Azteca America announced several additional expansions to its affiliate group in major media markets across the country.
Why it matters: The addition of affiliates in Charlotte, Sacramento and Boston expand the network’s reach to 68 markets, 20 of which are operated by Azteca America.

ieiv9xvt_400x400In keeping with its commitment to serve the U.S. Hispanic audience, Azteca America announced several additional expansions to its affiliate group in major media markets across the country, including Charlotte, North Carolina; Sacramento, California; and Boston, Massachusetts.

In Charlotte, new affiliate WHEH has begun to air Azteca programming on channel 41 effective December 1, 2016. In Sacramento, KSAO will begin an affiliation on January 1, 2016 and Azteca programming will air on channel 49 thus improving the local presence in that market. In Boston, former MundoMax station WFXZ has shifted affiliation to Azteca America as of October 31, 2016 and will air Azteca programming on its main channel 24.1.

“This latest expansion follows the game-changing addition of WGEN Miami to our affiliate group and underscores our continued commitment in investing and growing our Azteca America brand,” said Martin Breidsprecher, COO, Azteca America. These growth opportunities give our network competitive distribution and make Azteca’s programming available to audiences that will impact national and local ratings.”

Azteca America earlier this month announced that full-power affiliate station WGEN in Miami joined its station group, serving the nation’s third largest Hispanic DMA. The addition of affiliates in Charlotte, Sacramento and Boston expand the network’s reach to 68 markets, 20 of which are operated by Azteca America, reflecting the network’s continued growth and distribution expansion in the U.S. Hispanic marketplace.


A summary for Corporate Marketers, Media Sales Executives and Advertising Agencies to see what clients are moving into the Hispanic market and/or targeting Hispanic consumers right now.

Check out Portada’s Interactive Directory of Corporate Marketers and Agency Executives. 15 NEW LEADS HAVE JUST BEEN UPLOADED. To acquire the database, please call Jennifer Chan at 347-840-1311 or e-mail her at jennifer@portada-online.com SEE A DEMO OF THE DIRECTORY!

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  • Diageo

descarga (5)Consumer goods companies Diageo, which owns a wide portfolio of world-famous drinks brands, is conducting a global media agency review. The company spends an estimated US$2.3 billion a year on media. Dentsu Aegis Network’s Carat currently handles the largest portion of the assignment, including the U.S., which it won after a review in 2010. The company’s portfolio includes six big global brands: Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Tanqueray, Guinness, Captain Morgan and Bailey’s, as well as other regional brands. Diageo spent US$105 million on measured media in the U.S. last year, according to Kantar Media.

  • Western Union

descargaMoney transfer leader firm Western Union is conducting a global media agency review of its US$100 Million Media Business. It is still unknown whether incumbent agency Gravity Media will participate in the review. In the U.S., the company spent around US$20 million on measured media, according to Kantar Media, down from nearly US$40 million in 2014.


  • Purina

CiRBQx_WkAA3-u5Nestlé Purina PetCare Company is teaming up with former pro quarterback and current football analyst Brady Quinn and his wife, Olympic gymnast, Alicia Sacramone Quinn to celebrate National Pet Month by asking people to Roll Over Hunger and help feed shelter pets during the month of May. Pet lovers everywhere can participate in the Roll Over Hunger challenge by uploading a photo or video of themselves or their pets rolling over to www.RollOverHunger.com, and sharing their photos and videos on social media using #RollOverHunger. For every photo or video uploaded to the website during the month of May, Purina will donate US$2 to the Petfinder Foundation, up to US$50,000, to feed shelter pets in need. The Quinn’s will host a Twitter chat on Tuesday, May 3 at 3:30 PM ET to share more about the campaign. Pet lovers on Twitter can participate in the conversation and learn more about how to get involved by following #RollOverHunger. Consumers can visit www.RollOverHunger.com to learn more about the initiative and receive a US$10.00 Purina coupon through an instant win game.

  • Allstate

o1jbwvpS_400x400Allstate Insurance Co. is refreshing its tagline after more than 60 years with its new campaign: “It’s good to be IN Good Hands.” The change aims to modernize the 85-year-old brand for young consumers. The effort will include a series of TV spots featuring celebrities including Tim Gunn, Adam Devine and Leslie Jones, all of whom are popular within millennials.The campaign includes four 30-second spots. Leo Burnett worked on the campaign.The ads will run through the remainder of the year. Allstate, which services more than 16 million households and has total assets of US$104.7 billion, plans to support the campaign with social media, digital video and display and streaming radio.


  • Western Union/ Azteca America

la (1)Azteca America, which announced at its Upfront last month that it would be incorporating Real-Time Participatory Media (RPM) into its programming, has signed its first sponsor for the service. Western Union, a leader in global payments services, has kicked off a two-week promotion — tied to Mother’s Day — that showcases Azteca’s capability to deliver high-level engagement between viewers and shows. Western Union is sponsoring RPM activities during “Escape Perfecto,” which airs during Azteca America’s popular 7 PM family game show hour, “La Hora Ganadora.” Starting May 4th, viewers were invited to participate in “Celebrando a Mama,” and answered Mother’s Day-themed trivia where they were asked: “What was the best gift you gave your mother?” Western Union’s sponsorship includes a branded quiz capsule, Western Union logo placement and a 30-second Western Union TV spot.

  • Wonderful Pistachios

5x7 Hashtag-v1Wonderful Pistachios announced that Jared Borgetti, soccer player and goal scorer for the Mexican National Team, will serve as the brand’s ambassador for a series of activations in celebration of this summer’s international soccer tournament taking place across the U.S. Borgetti will help build and foster awareness of Wonderful Pistachios as the game day snack among passionate soccer fans, and promote smart snacking during sporting events and active living among U.S. Hispanics. Borgetti will participate in a series of events hosted by Wonderful Pistachios during the most important soccer tournament of Latin America played this summer. During each activation, Jared will sign autographs, interact with fans, present donations to local junior soccer leagues and offer media interviews. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to win premium giveaways. The first event will take place in Houston on May 19, followed by San Antonio on May 20 and Los Angeles on June 3. Social media users will also have the opportunity to join in the excitement by following exclusive content produced by soccer enthusiast and social media influencer Jorge Perez known as “Soccer Machine” and following the hashtag.

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What: The Miss Universe Pageant will air in Spanish on Azteca America this Sunday, December 20 at 7 PM ET, LIVE from Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
Why it matters: Univision had the Spanish-language rights, but decided last summer not to air the Donald Trump owned Miss Universe pageant after Mr. Trump made what Univision called “insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants.”MISS UNIVERSE® is distributed in more than 190 countries worldwide and seen by more than half a billion people annually.

unnamedThe Miss Universe Pageant, one of the world’s  beauty pageants that features contestants from more than 80 countries and judged in three categories — swimsuit, evening gown and interview — will air in Spanish on Azteca America on Sunday, December 20 at 7 PM ET.

The reigning Miss Universe 2014, Paulina Vega, will crown her successor at the end of the evening. In English, the pageant will be hosted by Steve Harvey and on Azteca America for the Spanish-language broadcast the hosts are Vanessa Claudio and Poncho de Anda.

The Miss Universe Organization is an international organization that advances and supports opportunities for women. It is also an important cultural brand in the Latino community, with five of the last seven winners having come from Latin American countries. MISS UNIVERSE® is distributed in more than 190 countries worldwide and seen by more than half a billion people annually.

What: Azteca America has announced the appointment of Craig A. Geller to Executive Vice President, Network Sales and Digital, effective immediately.
Why it matters: Geller will report to Manuel Abud, President and CEO, Azteca America, and will be based in New York. He succeeds Court Stroud.

descargaCraig_GellerAzteca America has announced the appointment of Craig A. Geller to Executive Vice President, Network Sales and Digital, effective immediately. Geller will report to Manuel Abud, President and CEO, Azteca America, and will be based in New York. He succeeds Court Stroud.

In this role, Geller will be responsible for overseeing advertising sales across Azteca America’s national network, as well as digital partnerships between the network and its advertisers and clients. With an ever-changing marketplace and the need to connect with Azteca’s highly coveted viewers, Geller will bring a fresh approach to the network’s go-to market strategy by leveraging original Azteca content and the Liga MX franchise to create tailored multi-platform engagements for brand partners.

From 2011-2014, Geller was at NUVOtv, where he was Senior Vice President, Advertising Sales and Integrated Marketing. At NUVOtv, he was integral in the brand transformation from SiTV to NUVOtv and responsible for changing the revenue model from an unrated cost per spot channel to Nielsen-rated CPM network. During his tenure, the network’s client base and ad revenue grew dramatically as a result of his creativity and approach to brands’ needs.

Prior to NUVOtv, Geller served as Senior Vice President, Network and Digital Sales at NBCU Telemundo. He began at the network in 1995 as New York Sales Manager and Vice President as part of the team that took the company out of bankruptcy. In November of 2000, he was elevated to the SVP Network and Digital Sales role where he was one of the integration leads on the sale from SONY Pictures Entertainment to NBC. Geller also was responsible for creating several marquee partnerships, including Billboard, the NFL and managing the first digital joint venture with Yahoo.com, which became YahooTelemundo.com.

Before joining Telemundo, Geller was an account executive/sales manager for National Cable Advertising (now NCC Media), where he managed and led one of the firm’s New York sales teams from 1992-1995. He began his career as a sales representative for Procter & Gamble. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Smith School of Business with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a minor in marketing and economics.

“Craig brings a stellar track record of success and relationships in network advertising and digital sales,” said Abud. “His expansive marketplace expertise and knowledge combined with his strong connections to the key decision makers on the client and agency side will be instrumental in leading our sales teams to drive sustained growth and new business opportunities for Azteca America.”

“Azteca America is doing tremendous work on behalf of its clients and partners. We have exciting primetime programming in the pipeline and soccer franchises that continue to deliver audience growth. There are endless opportunities to create customized and comprehensive solutions for our clients that connect with the U.S. Hispanic audience across multiple touch points and continue to grow our business. We will be the channel clients and brands will think of when they want to reach a highly engaged viewer on any platform,” said Geller. ​”I am honored to join Manuel and his team at this incredible time in our business.”

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With increasing pressure from digital, broadcasters will strut their best and brightest stuff this week. Here’s what media buyers from Zubi Advertising, Horizon Media, Havas Media, Dieste, Bromley and Innocean USA expect.

Azteca’s Baila si Puedes
Ahead of the TV Upfronts, Azteca America gave a sneak preview of “La Hora Ganadora,” an hour of family-oriented programming that will rotate shows in short seasons of a few weeks.

Says Manuel Abud, president and CEO of Azteca America, “For advertisers, it means I am committing to a genre that will bring a similar type of viewership.”

“La Hora Ganadora” offerings include dance competition “Baila si Puedes” and game show “El Rival Más Débil.” Each show will run for around eight weeks. Abud says of the new approach, “It’s getting more difficult to get an audience engaged for a longer period of time, so we don’t ask for such a big commitment as in the past.”

La Hora Ganadora
La Hora Ganadora

His statement is central to the conundrum of the Upfronts, as networks try to get advertisers and agencies excited enough about shows to put big bucks upfront – as viewing habits and media consumption change.

TV: Still Relevant

Make no mistake, though. TV as we know it is not going away, and neither are the Upfronts. Certainly, TV consumption overall is changing, with people – especially younger people – watching less broadcast and more over-the-top and direct-to-digital video. Nevertheless, media buyers say television is important for reach.

karina-dobarro-188“We are dealing with a consumer that over-consumes media, so we are still able to find them through linear TV as well as online video,” says Karina Dobarro, vice president and managing director of multicultural brand strategy for Horizon Media.

Media buyers agree that television remains the fastest and best way to generate reach, even as it evolves.

Media buyers agree that television remains the fastest and best way to generate reach, even as it evolves. It’s important even when reaching Hispanic millennials, according to Isabella Sanchez, vice president of media integration for Zubi Advertising – and so is Spanish-language programming. “People think millennial equals English, and that’s not necessarily the case. Millennials just happen to be younger. If you look at Univision’s numbers on any given day, they have a huge foothold on the 18-to-34-year-old populations,” she says.

Isabella Sanchez_Zubi_BW
Isabella Sanchez, Zubi

A case in point is the gigante gap in Sunday-night television that will be left with the demise of the elderly and beloved Sabado Gigante. Univision may reveal a replacement during its upfront. Says Sanchez, “It looks like a dated program, but millions of people watch it. I have no doubt Univision will come up with something tremendous as a replacement.”

Sabado Gigante looks like a dated program but millions of people watch it. I have no doubt Univision will come up with something tremendous as a replacement.

Meanwhile, says Dobarro, the end of the show “represents an opportunity to continue to attract their current TV audience while trying to grow that younger audience.”

Broadcasters Expand Digital

Of course, digital placements on network dotcoms have been available for years. As TV consumption continues to move fluidly across screens, media buyers are interested in seeing how networks will showcase and handle digital.

At last year’s Upfront, Azteca America announced a partnership with YouToo Technologies, a “social TV platform.” This year, Azteca and YouToo will offer online and mobile trivia games for new programming including “La Hora Ganadora” and “Viernes Futbolero.”

Manuel Abud foto
Manuel Abud, Azteca America

Abud says, “Digital will be a bigger part of the upfronts in general. As the technology keeps moving, we will.” Because consumers have become device-agnostic when viewing TV, he says, “My focus is on developing content-centric franchises.”

Eric Bader, CMO of RadiumOne, a provider of programmatic advertising solutions, points out that television and digital aren’t so much at odds with each other when it comes to marketing goals. He says, “Television is essentially designed to meet brand and exposure metrics at the top of the funnel. Digital has effectively grown to service the bottom of the funnel and more direct marketing expectations.” Instead of buyers trying to decide which content is superior, or how much budget should go to TV versus digital, he advises, “The first thing that has to happen is that the advertiser has a full picture of both the brand goals and the direct engagement goals. It has to start with the measurement goals being defined, and then going into the market and seeing where you will find the audience that meets these goals.”

Says James Zayti, group director of Hyundai Media at Innocean USA, “We have to think about all the touchpoints where someone buying a car would be viewing content. For younger consumers, that would be more digital touchpoints, but we definitely need a marriage of both.”

Horizon Media’s Dobarro has seen a shift in how Spanish-language networks position their digital offerings. While they used to compare their online video to established, digital-native content companies like Yahoo, now they are going up against other broadcaster dotcoms. “It’s more of an even playing field for them,” she says. “They have realized they are not going to be able to gain the audience and reach of Google, for example.”

Still, much more needs to be done, according to Sue De Lopez, group account director for Bromley. The new marketing model, she says, is “dynamic, always-on and iterative. There is a tremendous void in multi-platform and multicultural content right now.”

She is seeing advertiser budgets shift from television to digital and to multiscreen. In fact, Bromley has shifted its own rhetoric, now talking about “video” instead of TV/digital; and it now sees its teams as working in content instead of advertising.

Meanwhile, De Lopez says, “Broadcasters are offering digital, but the units they offer are basic, the same old units: banners, static, B-roll videos. It’s all very cookie cutter. Brands and agencies are looking beyond the expected digital offerings. We want to know how we can tap into culturally relevant digital content that is customizable, so brands can fit in in a very organic way.”

The question of rates

In earlier days, broadcasters may have thrown in some digital advertising on their dotcoms as a value-add. With today’s shift to digital, that would be crazy.

Says Bader of RadiumOne, “Now they are bundling it in a different financial package, because there is more viewership on those platforms.”

Abud says that Azteca will be flexible – but not give freebies. “There are some clients that want to deal with digital separately, some want to see it as a combined effort,” he says. So, some advertiser budget that formerly went to Azteca broadcast may now be split. He adds, “Digital is still a complement for broadcast. Someday it will have a life of its own, but I’m not there yet.”

Univision has one strong property next year — soccer — and will probably try to bring in a lot of revenue for that

Zubi’s Sanchez acknowledges, “Everyone always wants to increase their rates; it’s the game we’ve all been playing for years. They ask for a lot and then buyers fight them on it.” She thinks that more cross-platform opportunities can help networks increase revenue without raising television rates. She notes, “Univision typically has led the pack in setting CPM increases. They have one strong property next year — soccer — and will probably try to bring in a lot of revenue for that. But all predictions say it will be a soft upfront when talking about base programming.”

Greater accountability from networks

Measurement continues to be a concern of TV buyers. Dave Morgan, CEO of Simulmedia, says, “There is no question we will see a greater use of data. There is a lot of rhetoric with buyside and sellside positioning, both saying they are bringing their best data to the table.” Simulmedia uses data to aggregate audiences for agencies and advertisers, mostly in the scatter market. “Brands and marketers themselves are clear that they want true ROI, but that isn’t how most TV media has historically been bought.”

Joseph Abruzzo, Havas Media
Joseph Abruzzo, Havas Media

Joseph Abruzzo, chief exploration officer for Havas Media, concurs. “One thing that’s changing is networks are very interested in protecting their revenue base. They will be selling greater accountability [by] starting to offer data-infused targeting options,” he says.

For example, Azteca is working with Furious Corp, the Nielsen-funded startup that works with television programmers to use real-time data from smart TVs and other connected devices to plan and optimize revenue across platforms. Meanwhile, Turner Broadcasting System, CBS and NBCUniversal have announced initiatives to add performance-based metrics to TV buying.

Abruzzo says that merging third-party data sets gives broadcasters the ability to create richer profiles of those who are actually watching a program, so an advertiser could target, for example, people who are most likely to buy a Lexus. “These are still linear buys,” he says, “but you are buying a program that has an audience composition mostly made up of [your target audience].”

Better targeting is especially important to buyers on multicultural desks, according to Greg Knipp, CEO of Dieste. “In our space in past, it’s been Univision and Telemundo, and then you fill in around those two. As we get more sophisticated in segmenting our audience, and the more targeting we can get in traditional media, the better off we’ll be.”

Knipp expects even greater shifts in the media landscape in years to come. He notes that a lot of the most talked-about content among young Hispanics and bi-culturals is stuff you can’t buy: programs like “Game of Thrones” and “Orange is the New Black.” Acknowledging that broadcasters must be more conservative than OTT providers, the question he sees is, “How will we reach this audience that is watching things that don’t have advertising?” The answer, in his opinion, is using data from set-top boxes and smart TVs, combined with third-party data, to get better addressability.

Morgan of Simulmedia thinks it’s possible that measurement could actually show that some TV spots are undervalued. His question for agencies is, “Now that you have sellers willing to sell on ROI, are buyers willing to buy on ROI?”


What: Azteca America has signed an affiliate agreement with KDKJ, to be broadcast on channel 27.2 in Tyler/Longview, Texas.
Why it matters: The station will carry Azteca America’s programming, including news, entertainment, novelas and sports programming, as well as the network’s popular “Viernes Futbolero” franchise.

ynTO_n8V_400x400As part of the network’s commitment to servicing the U.S. Hispanic audience, Azteca America has announced  that it has signed an affiliate agreement with KDKJ, to be broadcast on channel 27.2 in Tyler/Longview, Texas.

The station will carry Azteca America’s programming, including news, entertainment, novelas and sports programming, as well as the network’s popular “Viernes Futbolero” franchise. This new addition expands Azteca America’s network to 64 stations, 27 of which are operated by Azteca America.

“We welcome KDKJ to the Azteca family and look forward to working with DTV America to deliver first rate service and quality programming to the Hispanic community in the Tyler/Longview Texas area,” said Martin Breidsprecher, Azteca America, Chief Operating Officer.

Irwin Podhajser, SVP Broadcast Operations for DTV America added,  “We are excited to add Azteca America to our programming line-up for Tyler/Lufkin. It is about giving the local Hispanic community a voice, not just another channel.  In fact we are the only television station in the market that is making Spanish-language programming our top priority.”

The announcement this week that Robert J. Murray, global president of iProspect, has left the leading digital agency to become president of Skyword is yet the latest signal of the growing importance of content marketing in the business of advertising. The appointment was first reported by the New York Times, and Murray is expected to start June 3 at the company’s headquarters in Boston.

Content marketing refers to editorial content including articles, video clips, TV shows, etc. that is created on behalf of marketers and advertisers. It is also known as branded content and to some extent branded entertainment. And among the nation’s leading providers of this type of content is Skyword, which earlier this month closed a $6.7 million in growth financing led by Cox Media Group.

The investment, said Skyword and Cox Media Group in a joint statement, will be used to expand the team and help scale the company to meet increasing customer and partner needs as content marketing “becomes an integral part of brand marketing initiatives and digital content production for media companies.”

Skyword recently recruited two long-time Hispanic sales executives: Former Terra.com Michele Azan, and former Vme and Azteca America Court Stroud.

In December we introduced the Portada Buzz Barometer for Advertisers. Today we are introducing the Portada Media Buzz Barometer. While there should be more than  “buzz”, “buzz generation” can be very important for marketing and PR strategies. In this first release of our monthly analysis,  Univision, Telemundo, Azteca America, ImpreMedia and EZ Target belong to the media companies with the most positive change in “Buzz”. ESPN and CBS are the entities with the most negative change. We are not comparing the level of buzz of one company compared to the other companies, but comparing a given media company with its own performance over time.

The figures published below show the monthly change in the amount of searches in  Google for each of the media companies names. The scale is from 1% to 100% as measured since 2004 until November  30,2012. 0% means no searches and 100% represents the highest amount of searches  for the term throughout  the whole period.

strong>Below the Portada Buzz Barometer-Media (USH) representing percentage” buzz” changes from October to November 2012 (see Methodology below)

Below the development of each media company measured during the last 11 months measured against itself.
The  chart below shows the history of each of the national advertisers during the  January-November period of  2012.

Performance during January-November 2012

* Data in %

Azteca America5153586666424645454068
People en Espanol5046455059494751484345
MSN Latino7466616665675957595753
AOL Latino9184677466544136353634
EZ Target Media5355514148424243444365
Audience Science3262474349473355525346
Tribal Fusion3241323332323230312528


Methodology: How we measure “Buzz”

Our Barometer  measures the monthly percentage change in influence (buzz) that the top  Hispanic media companies  generate on a monthly basis on the Internet.  Buzz is measured by the amount of times the name of the media company was  used in Google searches during a given month, compared to the amount of searches  it generated a month before.  The measure does not compare the media companies between them, but a given media company with its own past performance. Again, this is is not a comparison between the  companies but of the same company versus its own performance the month  before. The study was made with data from Google Trends. The performance of  each media company has been tracked since 2004 until November 30, 2012.

Portada Buzz Barometer February 2012 Data  to be released in two weeks.

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