Hispanic TV Summit: Social Media, TV Everywhere Drive Audience

But Programmers Should Tap Viewer Needs Before Creating Shows

New York -- Online and mobile access to programming is even more important for Hispanic television networks, a panel of top media executives said at the Multichannel News/B&C Hispanic TV Summit here Wednesday.

ESPN Deportes vice president of  programming and business initiatives Freddy Rolon, Jr. said the sports network puts a big emphasis on offering Hispanic viewers several options to receive its programming either online, on television, via mobile devices and even via radio.

Rolon added that Hispanic households typically have fewer TV's so making content available on tablets and phones is essential to keeping the audience. He added that it is the network's responsibility to ensure that its content is available to its subscribers wherever they are.

"If you make it hard for your consumers to find your content, they'll find it in ways you may not want them too," Rolon said.

Telemundo Media vice president of digital production and development Jose Nestor Marquez said that networks should also pay attention to how and which content is produced online. He added that it isn't enough to make programming available -- he likened it to just taking a networks content and seeing how many hours it can cram pn ITunes.

"It would behoove us to think what would be the best story ideas that fit this new viewing culture."

Each one of the panelists lauded the importance of social media, especially as a way to tap into viewers immediate wants and needs. Marquez added that it also could be a tool to guide a show before it goes into production, using social media to "inform content."