New York -- Fox Sports en Español will cross the 10 million-subscriber plateau in June when a new deal with DirecTV Inc. kicks in.
The Spanish-language sports network, which held its upfront presentation for advertisers here Tuesday, will add 2 million more DirecTV homes next month to the 880,000 subscribers it already counts with the direct-broadcast satellite leader, according to network officials.
The additional DBS distribution will lift the service -- which offers soccer, baseball, boxing and other sports fare -- into 10.3 million households, including more than 4 million Hispanic homes.
Network officials said the service -- which increased its penetration among Latino households by 18% in 2005 -- is the most widely distributed and most-watched Spanish-language sports cable network
The added reach helped the network to continue to record significant gains among the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. Network officials said the service, dating back to the fourth quarter, had delivered 14 of the top-20 highest-rated sports programs in all of Spanish-language cable among men 18-49 and 13 of the top 20 among adults of that age group.
All told, the network officials, citing Nielsen Media Research data, said the service added 850,000 new households over the past year, registering sizable advances in such markets as Los Angeles (31%); Chicago (94%); San Francisco/San Jose, Calif. (125%); Albuquerque/Santa Fe, N.M. (+164%); and San Diego (+117%). It expects to enter 2007 with a minimum of 4.5 million subscribers.
On the programming front, Fox Sports en Español will bow a second rendition of its popular interactive talk show, Jorge Ramon En Vivo!. Complementing the Monday-night show that debuted last fall, this second one-hour installment will air on Friday nights and combine viewer call-in, e-mail and online interaction features.
Fox Sports en Español is distributed by Fox Cable Networks and owned by News Corp., which holds a 37% stake in DirecTV.