Reshaping The Market - 2006-02-23 11:01:12

© The Wu-Tang Corp.- 2006-02-23

Next-Gen Hispanics Reshape the Market
Cable Nets Cater to Young Latinos With Music and Wrestling

Hispanic viewers are also watching lots of wrestling. “World Wrestling Entertainments Smackdown!” averaged more than one million Hispanic viewers each week during January — consistently placing it among Nielsens top ten most popular English-language shows with Latinos. The NBC Universal-owned cable channel mun2, which targets young bilingual and bicultural viewers, airs WWE reruns, but the bulk of mun2s programming remains music-related.
“You cant have a youth network without music,” says Telemundo senior executive vice president of network strategy Antoinette Zel, who has overall responsibility for mun2.
Mun2 last year commissioned a qualitative and quantitative study from youth research firm Look-Look, in which young Latinos were asked to keep diaries and responded to traditional surveys. While they have not yet released the surveys findings, Zel said those insights will slowly but surely feed into the programming grid. For now, the mun2 programming grid is not particularly different from some of its competition.
“I was looking at mun2 the other day and it looked like the way LATV did," said LATV president Daniel Crowe. (Flavio Morales, LATVs founding director of programming, is mun2s current vice president of programming.). Crowe argues that LATVs original programming distinguishes it from the competition. The fact remains, for now, that LATV, mun2 and MTV en Español all rely on a steady programming diet of music videos. And some videos like that of reggaeton superstar Daddy Yankee can be seen on all three channels.
Barbara Ponce, emerging markets advertising manager at Honda Motor Co., is counting on the popularity of reggaeton dance music to win over the young Latino market. Ponce reached a product integration agreement to feature the Honda Civic in the first music video by reggaeton, latin hip hop label Wu Tang Latino. “The Civic placement demonstrates Hondas support for the youth community and provides awareness of the Civic, putting us in the right place with our influencer customers.” said Ponce.
“We feel there is a big demand for [music programming] but music videos are a commodity” said SíTVs Perez of his competitors, referring to the fact that music videos are so widely available online and on cable.
With or without a heavy focus on music, Wu Tang Latino president Rayroq Acosta is confident the current crop of Latino-themed cable channels will succeed. “Those channels are doing something that wasnt being done before. I see them controlling [Latino] consumers [ages] 18 to 24," Acosta said. “I believe they are going to grow and get bigger and bigger. Why? Because we [the Hispanic market] are getting bigger.”

By Luis Clemens


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