The English-language broadcast networks may be upbeat about the potentially strong upfront ad marketplace for the 2010-11 season, but Spanish-language broadcast networks Univision and Telemundo are ecstatic.
They anticipate a potential $1.5 billion take between them.
Univision and its smaller sister broadcast network, TeleFutura, expect to bring in about $1.1 billion, while NBC Universal-owned Telemundo is expected to garner about $400 million.
"The Hispanic TV market is incredibly hot right now," said Mike Rodriguez, the network’s senior vice president of sales. "It’s the hottest it’s been in more than five years."
And David Lawenda, president of advertising sales for Univision, said his network has signed up 34 new brands so far in 2010. "I’m very bullish about this year’s upfront," he told TheWrap.
For those not paying attention, the Hispanic broadcast TV market might be overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. For the past several years, Univision has consistently won the ratings battle for 18- to 34-year-olds on Friday nights, beating every English-language network in that demo. And certain Univision programming has also randomly won other nights of the week in that demo over English-language television.
Telemundo, which produces novelas in its own studios, has been able to bring in a lot of business via product integrations.
"Our clients are always looking for strong collaborations with the Hispanic networks," said Joe Zubi, who runs the independent media agency bearing his family name and represents clients such as Ford and SC Johnson. "We focus a lot of our deals on sponsorships and integrations. Real partnerships with these networks are important. We want ad packages that go beyond just traditional 30-second commercials."
Zubi conceded that while prices paid for ad packages on Hispanic television in last year’s upfront were close to flat, this year the networks could get between price increases 6 percent and 8 percent, depending on the packages.
"During our development meetings with clients last year, nearly everyone complained about the economy, but this year, in over 20 different meetings with clients, the economy never came up," Rodriguez said. "There is a general sense that client spending will be back to where it was pre-recession."
And Lawenda believes the recession may actually have helped Hispanic networks "because it forced clients to take a look at all aspects of their marketing and to find new ways to reach different consumers."
Both Univision and Telemundo feel the anticipated growth of Hispanics, in the U.S. Census count currently under way, also will help motivate advertisers in this upfront to spend more on Spanish-language television.
"No marketer wants to get caught without a strategy to reach Hispanics," Lawenda said.
Lawenda said Univision’s upfront dollar volume last year was up about 3 percent, but this year he is anticipating a 10 percent hike in the amount of dollars taken in.
Hot categories for growth among the Hispanic TV networks in this upfront are expected to be consumer packaged goods, fast food restaurants, automotive and wireless.