News

Univision Drafts Stars Into VOD Campaign

4/26/2010 12:01 AM Eastern

Univision is trying to pump up demand for its on-demand platform and
high-definition offerings, via plugs from
on-air talent, 30-second TV and radio promos,
contests and other means.

The U.S. Spanish-language media leader’s
multiplatform educational initiative led off on
April 24 and will continue through May 12, Univision
senior vice president, affiliate marketing
and distribution, Jennifer Ball said. “Our distribution
partners see Univision as a category driver
and this is a great acquisition opportunity for
them, and also gives them a chance to upgrade
their existing customers,” she said.

She cited ample room for distributors to
convert Hispanic customers to the multichannel
universe. Twenty-two percent of
Latino households in Los Angeles, the top
Hispanic market, still rely on over-the-air
signals, Ball said. Th e counts are 28%, 26%,
29% and 6% in the Dallas, Houston, Phoenix
and New York markets, respectively.

Univision launched its on-demand platform,
which features an array of music, kids, entertainment
series, movies, awards shows and
sports fare, last July. It surpassed 1 million transactions
per month for the first time in January,
Ball said, and has upped that volume since then,
without a major linear push from Univision.

Univision personalities including Melissa
Marty and special-events reporter Rafa Mercadante
will appear on such Univision and
Telefutura shows as Despierta America, El Gordo
y la flaca, Primer Impacto and Escandalo TV
educating viewers about UOD and HD.

Thirty-second educational spots will run on
local Univision radio and TV stations, while
participating distributors will tap cross-channel
inventory to get the message out, directing
viewers to an online tutorial at Unvision.com.

Comcast vice president of video content Diana
Kerekes welcomed Univision’s initiative.
“Any time you can use assets to create a buzz,
to be front and center, you’ll see an increase in
usage,” she said, noting that Comcast has been
promoting UOD as part of its 300 Spanish-language
VOD via its barker channel, marketing
materials, direct mail pieces and top-pick
mechanism. “This is a good building block.”

Enhancing the on-demand product, current
Univision series Mujeres Aesisnas 2 will
become the first Spanish-language primetime
show available on-demand and in HD
on Univision from April 25 to May 25. Related
on-demand content will feature interviews
with the series’ stars.

UOD also will be significantly enhanced
via the presentation of 2010 FIFA World Cup
soccer matches. Bill Erickson, regional vice
president of marketing Time Warner Cable
in Los Angeles, said the operator and Univision
have already kicked off on-demand assets
in the form of national team previews for
the June 11 to July 11 competition.

“This education effort and promotional effort
by Univision not only increases awareness
for Time Warner Cable, but our industry
as a whole,” Erickson said.

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