With the 2010 U.S. Census once again highlighting the growing importance of Hispanic consumers, operators and programmers are responding with a number of new offerings for TV, bundled services and the multiplatform delivery of Hispanic content for online, mobile and tablet viewing.
“Hispanics in the U.S. today make up 16% of the population, but we are poised to become an event larger group in the future,” Ruben Mendiola, Comcast’s vice president and general manager of multicultural video services, said. “One in four kids today is Hispanic and it is expected by that 2010, one in every four people aged 18 to 34 will be Hispanic. Comcast has recognized that Hispanics are a very, very important group to serve and this is only going to increase in the future.”
As part of that effort, Comcast last year created a new multicultural division and is planning to launch a much-expanded Hispanic offering in late 2012 and early 2013 that will include additional channels and make additional content available on more devices.
Others are also putting more resources into the area, with Verizon Communications’ FiOS TV adding 12 new channels in the last year and companies such as AT&T expanding both their TV Everywhere and interactive offerings. “With the Univision deal we announced earlier this year, we are continuing to deliver more content to more screens to our Hispanic customers,” Ryan Smith, executive director of content acquisition at AT&T, said.
Programmers have also responded. After hovering at between 80 and 90 Hispanic channels in recent years, the 2012 B&C/Multichannel News list of Hispanic channels available in the U.S. comprises more than 110 programmers.
More HD services are also on the way, with Olympusat launching nine new HD channels in the last year.
Satellite-TV provider Dish Network, which has long had the most subscribers to Hispanic packages, has been working to ramp up its offerings in all of these areas, with new linear channels and a greatly expanded offering of Spanish-language content online.
But as operators expand their packages and programmers respond with the launch of new channels, the industry continues to face some important challenges.
The number of Latino TV homes has grown to nearly 14 million and the number of Hispanic pay TV households hit 11.73 million in July of 2012, up from around 8 million Latino cable and satellite homes in 2003, according to Nielsen.
But the number of Latino digital-tier homes is only 4.2 million, not much higher than the 4 million digital-tier homes in 2003. That indicates operators have not been as successful as they should be in selling their Spanish-language video packages.
This year’s summary of the Hispanic offerings at the 10 largest multichannel operators shows that they are hoping to change that result by expanding their HD services, offering better bundles, boosting the amount of Spanish-language content in their TV Everywhere offerings and improving the English language they bundle with their Hispanic tiers.
Basic subscribers: 22.3 million
High-speed Internet subscribers: 18.6 million
Phone subscribers: 9.5 million
Contacts: Marcien Jenckes, senior vice president and general manager of video services; Ruben Mendiola, vice president and general manager multicultural video services; David Jensen, vice president of international programming; Adrian Adriano, vice president, multicultural marketing, (215) 286- 8371; Roberto Perez, director of multicultural marketing, (215) 286-2867; Michael Demilio, director of multicultural video strategy, (215) 285- 5462; Jorge Alberni, director of corporate communications, (215) 285-5240.
Hispanic packages: Multiple Latino video packages (depending on the package, about 60 Spanish-language channels combined with various amounts of Englishlanguage networks, music channels, a digital set-top box and video-on-demand in Spanish for $29.95 to $76.90). About 80 programmers have signed deals with the MSO; its systems select channels from among those programmers to customize their local offerings.
Spanish VOD, HSI and bundles: Off ers more than 630 free Spanish-language VOD choices at any time, in addition to dual English/Spanish audio feeds on select films; has an extensive library of more than 900 choices of online content in Spanish in its Xfinity TV Latino Spanishlanguage portal; a growing amount of Spanish-language content on its Xfinity Streampix over-the-top services and on mobile apps; offers a number of bundles specifically for Hispanic subscribers; and has launched special international calling plans as part of the triple play, with 300 long-distance minutes to Mexico and Latin America.
Major Hispanic markets: Passes more than 4 million Hispanic subscribers, serving such large Hispanic markets as Miami; Houston; Chicago; Boston; San Francisco; Denver; Atlanta; Philadelphia; and Albuquerque, N.M.
Recent and future plans: Comcast, the first cable operator to devote significant resources to the Hispanic market, rolled out lower-cost Hispanic tiers in 2003 and has since regularly expanded both linearchannels and free Spanish-language VOD content.
In the last year, though, the nation’s largest operator has made particularly dramatic changes as it set up a new division to focus on the market. As part of that effort it has expanded the number of Spanish-language channels in its packages; increased its Spanish language HD channels; more than tripled its Spanish VOD offerings; expanded its multiplatform delivery, with more Spanish-language content for the Web and mobile devices; and is upgrading its digital platform so customers can more easily find VOD and online content. Newer networks added to systems include beIN Sport, Pasiones, CentroAmerica TV, Baby First TV Americas and Latin American Sports (LAS).
Bundles specifically targeted to Hispanics have been available since October 2006 and Comcast continues to focus on those in its marketing efforts. The company has also launched Internet Essentials, a low-cost broadband service available to lower-income groups for $9.95 a month; a set of calling plans offering 300 minutes of international calling to Mexico and 300 to Latin America; has agreed to launch 10 new independent channels, with many of those to be Hispanic or African-American ownedand operated channels; and announced the nationwide rollout of Xfinity Triple Play MultiLatino, which combines TV programming and services, Internet, and a phone offering that includes 300 international minutes per month to Mexico or Latin America.
Looking forward, Comcast plans a major revamp of its packages and bundles slated to be rolled out in late 2012 and early 2013. Th is will expand the number of channels; increase the amount of content available on-demand and on additional platforms; offer better ways to find and discover content; add additional features to the voice and high-speed Internet products; and create packages and offerings more tailored to the needs of different consumers and different parts of the Hispanic community.
Subscribers: 19.9 million
Contact: Karla Sustaita, director, multicultural segments, (310) 964-5942.
Hispanic packages: Lowest-priced offering is Más Latino (more than 45 Spanishlanguage channels, local broadcasters, secondary audio programming feeds and English-language channels for a total of more than 100 channels for $34.99; currently promoted at $22.99 for first year); also offers Optimo Más (more than 55 Spanish-language and over 110 Englishlanguage channels); Más Ultra (more than 60 Spanish-language and more than 145 English-language channels); and Lo Maximo (more than 60 Spanish-language and over 235 English-language channels).
Spanish VOD, HSI and bundles: Spanish-language on-demand content includes Spanish-language versions of new-release titles, Univision On Demand, Tr3s: MTV, Musica y Más, ESPN Deportes, Disney Channel, Sprout and Nickelodeon; bundled packages are sold with telco partners around the country; various DirecTV apps and TV Everywhere offerings give customers access to content on computers and mobile devices.
Major Hispanic markets: National footprint that offers local stations, including Spanishlanguage broadcasters, in many markets.
Recent and future plans: DirecTV continues to expand its channel lineup, with new Spanish-language channels, HD content, TV Everywhere products and other content. Recently added channels include beIN Sport, Nat Geo Mundo and Utilisima; many of its premium movie channels are also available in SAP. Current promotions include: $17-per-month discount on Óptimo Más for first year; $23 discount on the Más Ultra package of over 205 English and Spanish-language channels, normally priced at $62.99; and $35 discount on the Lo Máximo package, with more than 295 channels and more than 43 movie channels normally priced at $119.99.
Subscribers: 14.1 million
Hispanic packages: Include DishLatino Básico (more than 55 channels in Spanish and English for $22.99); DishLatino Clásico (more than 180 Spanish and English services for $32.99, currently promoted for $22.99 for first 12 months); DishLatino Plus ($37.99 for over 190 Spanish and English channels, currently being promoted for $22.99 for 12 months); DishLatino Dos (more than 220 English and Spanish channels for $44.99, currently promoted at $29.99 for 12 months); DishLatino Max (more than 265 English and Spanish services for $57.99, currently promoted for $39.99 for 12 months).
Spanish VOD, HSI and bundles: Off ers Spanish-language movies and television shows to subscribers who have set-top boxes capable of getting on-demand content; has rolled out TV Everywhere apps and authenticated online mobile offerings that provide subscribers with access to Dish content; subscribers with Sling-enabled boxes and devices can also access live Dish programming on other devices; telco partners bundle Dish’s video packages with their phone and internet offerings; DishLatino portal offers extensive on-demand content online from Univision’s channels, Discovery en Español and others; Blockbuster offering, which is free for the first three months, has Spanish-language titles for streaming or DVD rental.
Major Hispanic markets: National footprint with local broadcast stations available in most markets.
Recent and future plans: Satellite-TV company Dish was the first provider to seriously target the Hispanic market, viewing the effort as a means of differentiation and it continues to have more subscribers to Hispanic packages than any other operator. Currently offers a range of packages that include less expensive packages targeted to first generation Spanish-dominant Hispanics as well as packages with more English-language programing for bilingual homes or fully acculturated Latinos. It also has FlexTV offerings that do not require contracts or credit checks.
New channels added in the last year include beIN Sports and several of the new Univision channels, including Univision Deportes, Univision tlnovelas and FOROtv. As part of the Univision deal, Dish has added thousands of hours of Univision movies, telenovelas and TV series available online.
Along with the addition of new content and services, Dish has also improved its subscriber-retention efforts. It also continues to focus on TV Everywhere efforts, given the higher usage of online and mobile video by Hispanics, and is looking to expand both mobile and HD offerings in 2013.
Time Warner Cable
Basic subscribers: 12.3 million
High-speed Internet subscribers: 10.8 million
Voice subscribers: 5 million
Contact: Jeffrey Hirsch, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, (212) 364-8299.
Hispanic packages: Offers several packages, but the lead one is El Paquetazo (65 to 80 Spanish-language channels for a total of 150 to over 180 channels, a digital box and access to VOD for $29.99 to $41.99, depending on the region).
Hispanic VOD, HSI and bundles: Lo Mejor on Demand offers more than 160 free Spanish-language programs; broadband service has extensive Spanish-language pages; TWC is expanding Spanishlanguage offerings on its iPad app and TV Everywhere platform so that it now has around 40 Spanish-languages on its cable TV app; has a variety of triple-play packages that are marketed to Hispanics; its International OnePrice calling plan offers the MSOs phone subscribers 1,000 free minutes to more than 100 countries, including many in Latin America, for $20.95 in New York City, with prices varying by market.
Major Hispanic markets: New York; San Diego, Los Angeles and other Southern California operations; Texas; and the Carolinas. Serves DMAs where about 47% of all U.S. Hispanics reside.
Recent and future plans: The New York system rolled out a low-cost DTV en Español entry-level package in early 2003 and has since been expanding and developing its packages. Its main Hispanic package, El Paquetazo, was first launched in 2008 in Los Angeles and is now available in its major Hispanic markets with a greatly expanded offering of Spanish-language channels and VOD content. As a result of those moves, the MSO has seen significant subscriber gains and increased usage of its VOD services.
Has been working to expand the content on its TV Everywhere offerings and its cable TV apps. Now offers up to 250 total channels, with around 40 Spanish-language channels. As part of a push to add more HD services, has added HD versions of ESPN Deportes, Fox Deportes and others and is launching what it is billing as the first Spanish-language regional sports network, Time Warner Cable Deportes in California, which will features exclusive programing from the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers and other teams. Has also been ramping up its Hispanic-targeted social-media efforts on Facebook.
Total residential and business customers: About 6 million
Basic video subscribers: 4.7 million *
High-speed Internet subscribers: 4.6 million **
Phone subscribers: 3.2 million **
Contact: Philip Polk, director of segmentation marketing, (404) 847-6484
Hispanic packages: Paquete Latino (up to 35 Spanish-language networks and 10 to 15 channels of English-language local broadcast stations and basic services for about $28 to $32); El Mix (up to 35 Spanish-language networks and around 40 channels of English-language programming for $35 to $40); Super Mix (over 250 channels including the Spanish-language tier for $60 to $65). Local systems customize channels and pricing.
Hispanic VOD, HSI and bundles: Offers a variety of English and Spanish-language movies, music and other TV programming on demand; has a variety of bundles and calling plans, which include two new Mi Mexico calling plans that offer either 200 minutes or 1,000 minutes of long-distance calling to Mexico.
Major Hispanic markets: Include Arizona, Southern California and Las Vegas.
Recent and future moves: As part of a completely revamped Hispanic strategy, Cox launched Paquete Latino and a Spanish-language website in 2004 and has since continued to expand offerings, launching the El Mix tier in 2010.
Since then, has added 10 Spanishlanguage channels and is looking to further improve both its Spanish and English-language offerings. As a result of a strategy of developing attractively priced bundles, about 65% of all Hispanic customers take two or more products; in addition over 60% of Hispanic customers take expanded tiers of English-language programming bundled with the Hispanic package.
Is also looking to expand Spanishlanguage VOD packages; is improving its bundles with better long-distance plans; and is working with its ad agency to significantly expand both the quantity and the types of advertising it uses.
Verizon FiOS TV
Basic-video subscribers: 4.5 million
High-speed Internet subscribers: 5.1 million
Mobile subscribers: 94.2 million
Retail residence voice connections: 12.2 million
Contacts: Michelle Webb, director of content strategy and acquisition for Verizon, (212) 406-6714; Oscar Madrid, director of multicultural marketing.
Hispanic packages: Lowest-cost option is “Spanish-Language Package” (around 70 Spanish-language channels in a $12.99-permonth tier). The more popular option is La Conexión (including 70 Spanish-language channels for a total of more than 190 channels, including 31 HD channels, for $89.99 in a triple-play bundled package); various more-expensive options.
Spanish VOD, HSD and bundles: Offers a variety of Spanish-language VOD movies and television programming; offers La Conexión bundle and the Spanish-Language Package; has Spanish-language website (enciendetefios.com).
Major Hispanic markets: New York, New Jersey, Texas, Florida, California, others.
Recent and future plans: Hispanic markets have always been an important part of the telco’s strategy and FiOS TV has made available a robust Hispanic offering since launch. In the last two years, Verizon has made significant additions to its Hispanic offerings, adding 12 within the last year.
New HD channels for Hispanics have been a major focus, with the June launch of nine HD channels from Olympusat’s Ultra HDPlex services — Ultra Cine, Ultra Fiesta, Ultra Kidz, Ultra Mex, Ultra Luna, Ultra Macho, Ultra Film, Ultra Docu and Ultra Clásico. In June, it also announced the launch of Multimedios and in May signed a new multiyear carriage agreement with Univision that will see the launch of Univision Deportes, Univision tlnovelas and FOROtv.
Verizon also continues to expand the Spanish-language content for its TV Everywhere offering; the Univision deal included multiplatform and on-demand viewing rights.
Basic-video subscribers: 4.1 million
High-speed Internet subscribers: 3.7 million
Phone subscribers: 1.8 million
Contact: David Andreski, VP of integrated marketing, (314) 543-5807
Hispanic packages: Latino View (12 to 25 Spanish-language channels in most markets but as many as 30 Spanish-language channels in California for $5 on top of TV Select, TV Silver and TV Gold video packages.)
Hispanic VOD, HSI and bundles: Will soon be adding new Spanish VOD content and is revamping its Spanish-language Web site charterlatino.com; offers a triple-play bundle targeted to Hispanics; has a variety of longdistance calling plans.
Major Hispanic markets: Los Angeles; Fort Worth, Texas; Reno, Nev.; as well as rapidly growing populations in Tennessee; South Carolina and portions of Washington, Nebraska and Georgia.
Recent and future plans: Last year added eight channels in California, which now has around 30 channels in the Hispanic offering and has been reclaiming bandwidth as the MSO goes all-digital, which will allow them to add additional channels in the state. Most markets offer 12 to 25 channels, with plans to add new channels as well. The MSO is also revamping its overall offerings, with new pricing, packaging, new HD services, more online content and apps for mobile devices; as part of that effort, is also expanding its ethnic content.
AT&T U-verse TV
TV Basic video subscribers: 4.1 million
High-speed wired Internet subscribers: 16.4 million
Voice: 46.8 million wireline voice connections
Wireless: 105.2 million
Contacts: Jeff Weber, president content and advertising sales, AT&T; Ryan Smith, executive director of content acquisition, AT&T; Julie Tran, director of content, AT&T (310) 552-0279.
Hispanic programming packages: All Uverse TV customers have access to Paquete Español (up to 50 channels for $15 a month on top of any U-verse TV programming tier); also offers U200 Latino (up to 330 channels, including the channels in Paquete Español for $82 per month); U300 Latino (up to 410 channel including Paquete Español for $97 per month); U450 Latino (up to 480 channels including Paquete Español for $129 per month).
Spanish VOD, high-speed Internet and bundles: U-verse Movies library offers thousands of hours of free and paid on-demand titles that includes Spanish-language movies, children’s programs, and events; has a variety of options for bundling U-verse TV Spanish-language packages with U-verse Internet, U-verse Voice and/or AT&T wireless services; offers low-cost international calling plans; is adding apps and interactive features for Hispanic audiences.
Major Hispanic markets: Los Angeles; Houston; Dallas-Fort Worth; San Antonio, Texas; San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose; Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Calif.; San Diego; Chicago; Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Austin, Texas; Fresno, Calif.; Bakersfield, Calif.; Detroit-Ann Arbor, Mich., and Atlanta, as well as such markets as El Paso and Corpus Christi, Texas; Orlando, Fla.; Monterey-Salinas, Calif.; Raleigh- Durham, N.C.; Odessa-Midland, Texas; and Charlotte, N.C.
Recent and future plans: Over the last year, rolled out its U300 Latino and U450 Latino packages and earlier this year announced new multi-year, multi-platform content agreement to deliver Univision content to U-verse TV, online, smartphones and tablets. The agreement also includes the launch of Univision’s new networks, Univision Deportes, Univision tlnovelas and FOROtv; in addition to the multiplatform on demand content, the agreement also gives subscribers access to live feeds of Univision networks in and outside of the home on multiple devices.
Recent promotions include significant discounts for bundles, with savings of as much as $36 a month for 24 months with a triple play bundle. Existing mobile subs also get a $5-per-month discount when they add qualifying U-verse TV bundles; customers with U300 Latino package or higher get a free wireless receiver for life.
In addition to expanding its TV and multiplatform Spanish-language offerings and bundles, the telco has also been focusing on using its IPTV platform to offer interactive applications for Hispanics. Last year it launched Paquete Español Multiview, which lets customers choose from up to 53 Spanish-language channels in the Paquete Español package to watch at the same time, and developed the Santa Tracker interactive TV app in Spanish, which allows customers to play various holiday games and track Santa around the globe on Christmas Eve.
Recently also worked with Disney Channel to launch an interactive channel designed to highlight the Disney’s secondary audio programming (SAP) feature in Spanish. Available to all customers, the channel features video clips of shows, trivia, polls, a weekly sweepstakes, a SAP tutorial tab and an “order now” section for customers interested in more Spanish programming. Also continues to look for additional HD content and is evaluating its current lineup, both with an eye towards adding additional channels and swapping out underperforming services.
Video subscribers: 3.3 million
High-speed Internet subscribers: 3.0 million
Voice lines: 2.4 million
Contact: Paul Strickland, director of video product management, (516) 803-3693, email@example.com
Hispanic packages: Optimum en Español (includes than 50 Spanish-language channels, and a Spanish-language VOD service at prices starting at $8.95 a month for subscribers to Family Cable).
Hispanic VOD, HSI and bundles: More than 150 hours of Spanish-language VOD programming a month; markets a variety of promotions for video, Internet and phone; offers flat-rate plans for unlimited local and long-distance calling within the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada; also offers Optimum Voice World Call, which offers up to 250 minutes of calling anywhere in the world, including up to 30 minutes of calls to Cuba, for $19.95; Spanish-language Web portal for its Optimum Online Internet service; Optimum App for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire and laptops allows viewing of live TV anywhere in the home.
Major Hispanic markets: Greater New York City area, including parts of Brooklyn, the Bronx, parts of New Jersey and Long Island, N.Y.
Recent and future plans: Optimum en Español, along with other international services, has been carried across Cablevision’s footprint since 2006. During the past few years, Cablevison has added a number of new Spanish-language networks, including ViendoMovies, Vme, Telemicro, Ecuavisa Internacional, Caracol TV Internacional, WAPA America, Latelenovela Network, Dominican View, Tele El Salvador, Mundo Fox, Univision Deportes and Univision tlnovelas; continues to look for ways to enhance its Spanish-language offering.
Bright House Networks
Total customers: 2.5 million
Basic video subscribers: 2,079,000 *
Hispanic package: In central Florida markets, offers Nuestros Canales, a Spanishlanguage tier that features 34 Spanish language video channels, and five audio, plus Spanish-language VOD for $8 on top of other video tiers.
Hispanic VOD, HSI and bundles: The Florida market offers “Lo Mejor On Demand,” with more than 50 hours of programming from Univision, Telefutura, Telemundo and others; “Road Runner en Español” high-speed data service has extensive Spanish-language pages for Hispanic customers; Hispanic-targeted “Mi Mexico” and “Latin American Call Plans” are offered in the Florida market.
Major Hispanic markets: The Florida market, including Tampa/St. Petersburg; Central Florida; and Bakersfield, Calif.
Recent and future plans: Declined to discuss its plans.
* SNL Kagan estimate **
Leichtman Research Group, second quarter, 2012.
Source: Information about packages and plans collected by Multichannel News; pricing and packages accurate as of September, 2012.