Panelists Ponder Programming Successes


New York -- After leading an impromptu sing-along of traditional Mexican song Cielito Lindo, moderator Arturo Villar delved into the final panel discussion of the Fourth Annual Hispanic Summit 2006 here.

Entitled “Generating Revenues with Programming,” the discussion offered panelists the chance to share their programming success stories.

Those involved were Betty Campbell-Adams, director of marketing and on-demand strategy for Time Warner Cable New York and New Jersey; Carlos Castañeda, Hispanic marketing manager, La Familia Cosmovision; César Español, marketing and public-relations director, TBN Enlace USA; Alejandro Parisca, general manager of newly launched VeneMovies; Luis Silberwasser, senior vice president and GM, Discovery U.S. Hispanic Networks; and Luis Torres-Bohl, founder and president of Mexicanal.

Campbell-Adams got the ball rolling by explaining how Time Warner’s video-on-demand service evolved from theatrically released content. “We wanted to expand on that and use different content to reach customers,” she said.

To that end, the MSO placed a Hispanic festival on-demand with bilingual marketing materials, bilingual cross-channel promotions and a direct-mail campaign. The company has since added Bollywood and Pan-Asian festivals, as well as creating an exclusive international movie channel.

But since the Hispanic festival was the most successful, the latest idea, still in the works, is creating an entirely Hispanic movie channel with all-Spanish-language programming and English subtitles.

Castañeda said La Familia has been successful in prioritizing promotions based on Hispanic heritage. The network began by airing three heritage-pride parades from New York in 327 systems across the country. The next step is to expand community programming and incorporate local content from California events.

As for TBN Enlace USA, Español said the network’s two challenges were tapping the spiritually oriented market and figuring out how to reach all Hispanic viewers. He added that before the analog sunset of 2009 (, the network plans to go into multicasting and broadcasting over digital signals in 28 markets in order to reach 50% of the Hispanic market.

VeneMovies, which launched last month, is taking advantage of film popularity among Hispanics. “We control one of the largest catalogs from Latin America and Spain -- high-quality feature films. So it followed naturally that we launched a pay-per-view channel,” Parisca said. “We hope to continue getting licenses for U.S. Hispanic markets.”

Silberwasser noted that an important investment for Discovery was in original programming in both Spanish and English markets. “Original in Spanish has been a major success,” he added. The network also determined that the scale of the Hispanic household was quite broad and, therefore, it offered fare for families, men and women on three separate channels.

“We have a focus on magazines, morning magazines specifically,” Torres-Bohl said, referring to ad campaigns augmenting the regional-based morning programming of Mexicanal. He added, “We are looking for sponsorships to promote product placement.”

This brought into question how many on the panel depended upon advertising versus ads and/or subscription for revenues: The result was a 50-50 split.