Cox Eyes Dish-Busting 'Bueno’ Latino Tier

5/09/2004 8:00 PM Eastern

Cox Communications Inc. plans to launch a new Hispanic programming tier and bundling strategy nationwide within the next seven weeks, executives said at the National Show here Sunday.

“We didn’t get it right the first time,” Cox senior vice president of marketing Joe Rooney told attendees at a panel session on Hispanic television sponsored by Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable at the National Show here. “We’re looking at it from a blank piece of paper.”

Rooney said Cox hopes the new tier will help it compete against the broad Spanish-language tiers sold by satellite-TV companies such as EchoStar Communications Corp.

He said Cox’s current Spanish-language offering isn’t relevant enough for the booming and diverse Hispanic marketplace.

Cox director of multicultural marketing Cesar Cruz said the new tier, called “Bueno,” will contain up to about 25 channels, varying by market. The monthly price for the digital tier will be in the “mid-$30s,” Cruz said.

Cruz said Cox recently hired Dallas-based ad agency Cultura to develop a marketing campaign for the Bueno launch.

Cox also plans to push the Hispanic market its bundle of video, high-speed data and telephony services.

Rooney noted how the MSO could offer special bundle offers for Latinos, such as 100 free minutes of long-distance calls monthly to Mexico for telephone customers.

The MSO might also be the first in the nation to offer its customers the option of receiving Spanish-language bills. Cox currently offers the Spanish-language bills in Tucson, Ariz., and plans to expand the option to other systems later this year.

The May 2 panel session also featured MGM Networks Latin America senior vice president of business development Raoul De Sota; Fox Sports International vice president of marketing and communications Raul De Quesada; ESPN Deportes general manager Lino Garcia; and Si TV chief operating officer Leo Perez.

Earlier, Gary Berman, the CEO of The Market Segment Group, emphasized the potential revenue operators and programmers could generate by targeting Hispanics.

Operators should consider investments in serving the Hispanic market as a capital expenditure rather than a marketing expense, he said.

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