Telemundo President: U.S. Spanish-Language Networks Only Get Half the Ad Revenue They Deserve

1:46 AM PST 04/16/2012 by Georg Szalai
NBC

Ahead of the upfronts, Emilio Romano, who has been in his job for six months, also talks about competitor Univision's content deal with Mexican broadcaster Televisa and Rupert Murdoch's foray into Hispanic TV.

Spanish-language TV networks in the U.S. are still only getting half the advertising revenue they deserve, Telemundo president Emilio Romano told the Financial Times.

Six months after he took over the second-largest Spanish-language broadcaster in the country, which is owned by Comcast-controlled NBCUniversal, Romano said that Hispanic TV gets 8 percent of U.S. viewership on average, but only 4 percent of the ad revenue.

His comments came ahead of next month's upfront ad presentations from broadcast networks, including Telemundo and bigger competitor Univision Communications, which has been seen as having the advantage of a llong-term content deal with Mexican broadcast giant Televisa. Romano though told the FT that Telemundo's studios in Miami, Mexico and Colombia have positioned it well to compete with Univision. “Our novelas are produced with an eye on the U.S. Hispanic market,” he highlighted.

Meanwhile, the Spanish-language TV space will only get more competitive as Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. is set launch a Spanish-language network this fall in partnership with Colombia's RCN Television. But Romano said he is not concerned. “Having Rupert Murdoch join our market makes us very proud," he told the FT. “Competition will always make us better.” He also argued that Telemundo had “a huge advantage” given that its studios produce 2,500 hours of programming a year.

Romano also discussed Telemundo's audience focus, saying that the 14 million “Spanish-dominant” U.S. Hispanics are at the core of his company's strategy, but there is also a bigger market in the additional 36 million who switch between Spanish-language and English-language TV. “We took the decision to cater to that 36 million in Spanish as well," the Telemundo CEO said. "They might go to the general market to watch a reality show or a comedy such as The Voice or 30 Rock [on NBC], but if they want to watch something that culturally brings them back to the safety of their home environment, they’ll watch a novela on Telemundo."
 

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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