CTAM Sees Hispanic Upside

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Cable service still has not been picked up by a large percentage of households where Spanish is the primary language. That fact represents a marketing opportunity for cable operators, new research from the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing indicates.

Forty-two percent of Hispanic households purchase cable, compared with 65% of U.S. households overall, CTAM reported. That suggests cable operators can increase multichannel-TV penetration by adding new and emerging Hispanic-oriented networks and marketing aggressively in both English and Spanish.

Forty-three percent of Hispanics primarily watch English-language TV, versus 38% who prefer watching television in Spanish. Some 36% of cable and satellite subscribers currently buy a Spanish-language package through their provider, according to the study.

The strongest target audience segment for cable would be Hispanics aged 18 to 34. Their adoption of other technologies such as DVD players (67%) and video-game systems (61%) demonstrates that segment puts a high priority on technology purchases, according to CTAM.

That demographic group also shows promise as potential bundled-services consumers. Half of current Hispanic satellite consumers said they were interested in cable's bundles. Of current cable subscribers, 42% said they would like a discounted bundle from their current provider.

Other findings: English is the preferred language in the majority of homes of those born in the U.S., those employed full-time, college attendees or those with household incomes of $50,000 or more. But those with a Spanish-language TV preference tend to be married with children in the home.

Viewers who prefer English content are more likely to subscribe to digital cable service and watch on-demand programming than are Spanish speakers.

English-language TV viewers among Hispanics also are twice as likely to own a HDTV set and buy high-definition programming. One reason: Spanish-language programming is limited on HDTV tiers.

The CTAM report was based on information collected as part of ICR's Hispanic Omnibus survey. The telephone poll was conducted Aug. 14 to 28 and included 1,007 randomly selected Hispanic consumers. Of those, 46% were cable subscribers and 29 buy satellite services. Interviews were conducted in Spanish and English.

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