Smaller networks gain in Hispanic upfront
MundoFox and cable channels are attracting more interest
July 19, 2012
There have been some surprises in the Hispanic television upfront this year.
The selling season has yet to wrap up, with Telemundo the only network to finalize all of its deals.
But while demand for Spanish-language inventory was up, CPM gains are actually lower than last year.
In small part that reflects the still-struggling economy, which prompted lower CPM gains this year for English-language networks as well.
But mostly the lower gains are particular to Hispanic television. They reflect advertisers' greater interest in a variety of networks this year rather than just the traditional top one or two.
"CPMs versus last year were mostly down, but we were coming off of a strong sellers' market last year," says Scott Gassert, general manager of media interception at Dallas agency Dieste.
"We have seen lots of movement within the market giving advertisers and buyers more options. The increased competition for advertiser commitment helped control CPMs and keep them more manageable."
One of those options is the new News Corp. Spanish-language network MundoFox, which is slated to launch next month.
Media buyers are still watching to see what sort of distribution MundoFox can secure. News Corp., which gave the channel a flashy introduction during the May upfront presentations, is aiming for a presence in 75 percent of the country.
"The Spanish-language broadcast market is not an easy market to jump into, and it may boil down to a distribution game and channel location–the ease of finding them," Dieste notes.
"Having said that, I believe many advertisers are finding them worth the 'risk' as a start-up and willing to put upfront dollars with them."
Cable, too, is seeing increasing market share of Spanish-language budgets as ratings grow.
Discovery en Español, for example, is coming off its highest-rated second quarter ever among adults 18-49, where its female audience was up 44 percent.
"We know share has been shifting slightly with more going to cable this year, but also to some of the start-ups [like MundoFox]," Dieste says.
Last year the Spanish-language upfront generated $2.2 billion, most of that for Univision and Telemundo.
Univision still will easily be the leader in volume sales. It inked the first deal of the upfront season two months ago, before it had even given its presentation, and it has been seeing CPM gains in the mid- to high-single-digit percentages, according to buyers.
Telemundo, the fastest-growing broadcast network in ratings this year, closed its upfront last week with CPM gains of 7 percent for the flagship network and 6 percent for cable sister mun2.
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