Hispanic Television Summit: What Do Latinas Want On TV?


New York -- Hispanic women make the final purchasing decisions in the household, but television content that is relevant to their lifestyle is hard to find in today’s media mix.

At least that was the feeling shared by a group of programmers, carriers and content producers who gathered this morning to tackle the question “What Women Want to See on TV” at the sixth annual Broadcasting & Cable/Multichannel News Hispanic Television Summit here Thursday. (For more coverage, click here.)

“I want to see content that speaks to me, a Latina living in the U.S., not something that is imported from Latin America,” said Cristina Mella, editor in chief of Casa y Hogar magazine, a Spanish-language title targeted to Latino women and their families.

But Emiliano Saccone, senior vice president at Fox Latin American Channels, whose properties include the women-targeted Utilisima, refuted the point, saying that the most popular Spanish-language programs in primetime are telenovelas imported from Mexico or Venezuela.

“A young mother in Chile faces very similar problems to a young mother in the U.S.” he said. “In addition, we have to be realistic here,” said Saccone. “Producing content in the U.S., compared to Latin America, is a very expensive proposition. This is a business. There is a model and it has to be substantial.”

While MTV Tr3s vice president of programming and production Lili Neumeyer said there are now many options for English- and Spanish-dominant Latinas, Comcast Cable director of content acquisitions Radame Rodriguez believes there isn’t enough out there.

“We just launched 16 Hispanic channels in Houston,” said Rodriguez, “and we want to add more, but there are really not many women-specific channels to choose from.”

The lively and, at times, heated panel, was moderated by Jenny Alonzo, executive vice president of  marketing and communications at Mio.TV, an online media channel set to launch Dec. 2. Alonzo addressed the panelists with a provocative “Why aren’t there any Lifetime, WE or Oxygen channels in the Hispanic market?,” a question that remained pretty much that, as none of the panelists could venture a specific answer, other than to say that the economics and financial side of the business model played a crucial role. Alonzo is a former Lifetime executive.


The Summit’s last Thursday morning session, “How to Attack Hispanic Viewers in a Multi-Screen Environment,” shed some light on the potential of mobile marketing as an attractive proposition to target U.S. Hispanics, who over-index in the use of mobile devices compared to the general market.

“Hispanics are not only the fastest-growing minority; they also over-index in the use of new technologies,” said Shira Simmons, CEO and president of Ping Mobile.

Recent data shows, for example, that 66% of Hispanics use SMS on a daily basis, compared to 36% among the general market.