In an effort to reach out to bilingual and non-Spanish-speaking Latino sports fans, Fox Sports en Español next week will begin offering operators an English-language secondary-audio feed to complement its traditional Spanish-language feed.
Beginning Sept. 14, FSE -- currently in 7.6 million homes -- will offer operators sports content dubbed into English, president David Sternberg said.
“The objective is to make the network more widely accessible to all Latino viewers no matter what their language preference is,” he said. “We’re hopeful that by expanding the audience, we’ll also make it an attractive business proposition for our cable partners to the extent that they can build their Hispanic local-ad-sales business and increase their penetration of that marketplace.”
Sternberg said a minimum of 70% of the network’s programming will be offered in English, adding that FSE does not hold English-language rights to some of its foreign-based events. “In those relatively few instances, the second-audio program will have Spanish-language programming,” he added.
While many English-language networks offer a Spanish-language second-audio feed, the reverse setup is rare: Soccer channel GolTV is the only other Spanish-language network to offer an alternative-language feed.
But Sternberg said the continued growth of the Hispanic marketplace has yielded more and more English-speaking and bilingual Latinos who want to view culturally targeted sports programming in English.
Sternberg said the network is talking with major MSOs about picking up the English- language feed, which, he added, distributors could place on traditional sports tiers in an effort to drive penetration.
The programmer will initially concentrate its efforts in states that have seen recent significant Hispanic growth, including New Mexico, California, Texas, Florida and Colorado.
For more on Fox Sports en Español’s English-language feed, please see R. Thomas Umstead’s story on page two of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.