Last year brought some noteworthy changes to the Hispanic offerings available to U.S. consumers, as programmers launched new networks and operators made a big push into “TV Everywhere,” making more Hispanic- targeted content available online and via mobile devices.
This year’s annual Multichannel News/Broadcasting & Cable “Guide to Hispanic Channels” lists 131 networks — more than ever before and up from about 114 a year ago and from 85 in 2008.
And though many Hispanic networks on the list are still only available in standard definition, the number of HD channels is growing and more programmers are making their networks or content available across multiple platforms.
For instance, Univision makes a wide variety of content from its networks available to authenticated pay TV susbcribers on its Uvideos website and app. And ESPN recently expanded its “Watch ESPN” service to include a live stream of ESPN Deportes.
Major operators are also keeping TV Everywhere efforts for the Hispanic audience top of mind. “We know that Hispanics overindex on programming on the go [consuming more video via mobile devices than general-market consumers], and our specific focus will continue to be supporting the company’s mission of enabling customers to access entertainment across multiple devices,” Marisol Martinez, senior director of relationship marketing at Time Warner Cable, said. TWC, the second-largest U.S. cable operator, now has about 40 Spanish-language channels available via its TWC TV app for computers, Apple iOS and Android devices, part of a lineup of more than 300 available networks.
Recent population growth in the Hispanic community is increasingly coming from second- and third-generation Hispanic-Americans, rather than from immigration, Cox Communications executive director for Hispanic marketing Luis Caballero noted. That has convinced Atlanta-based Cox to “focus on the whole market,” he said, targeting Spanish-only speakers, bilingual Latinos and even English-only speakers.
New research also shows that Hispanic parents are concerned about whether their kids will retain Latino culture, data that convinced Verizon Communications to market its Spanish-language FiOS TV add-on tiers to Hispanics in English. “We had a great response to that,” Oscar Madrid, Verizon’s director of multicultural marketing, said.
The coming year will bring even more new wrinkles to Latino-targeted pay TV. In 2013, top U.S. MSO Comcast was one of the most active in upgrading its packages, adding a significant number of new linear channels and ramping up both its VOD and TV Everywhere offerings.
Comcast will unveil even more notable changes later this year and early next year, with “a major revamp of our Latino packages,” vice president and general manager of multicultural video services Ruben Mendiola said.
Below are some highlights of Hispanic TV offerings from the 10 largest U.S. multichannel-video providers.
Basic subscribers: 21.8 million
High-speed Internet subscribers: 20 million
Phone subscribers: 10.3 million
Contacts: Marcien Jenckes, EVP, consumer services; Rubén Mendiola, VP and GM, multicultural services; David Jensen, VP, content acquisition; Adrian Adriano, VP, multicultural marketing; Roberto Perez, director, multicultural marketing; Michael Demilio, director, multicultural video strategy; Jorge Alberni, director, corporate communications, (215) 286-5240.
Hispanic video packages: MultiLatino video packages (depending on the package, around 60 Spanish-language channels, including the Xfinity Latino Entertainment interactive channel, various English-language networks, music channels, a digital set-top box and video-on-demand in Spanish for $29.95 to $81). More than 80 programmers have signed deals with Comcast; systems select channels from those deals to tailor their offerings to local demographics.
Spanish VOD, HSI and bundles: More than 1,800 free Latino VOD choices at any time plus dual English/ Spanish audio feeds on select films; more than 1,000 Spanish-language collections on the Xfinity TV Latino Spanish-language portal; growing amount of Spanish-language content on Xfinity Streampix and on mobile apps; a number of Hispanic-specific bundles that include Xfinity Internet; and special international calling plans as part of triple-play packages with 300 long-distance minutes to Mexico and Latin America.
Major Hispanic markets: More than 5 million Hispanic homes passed in such large Hispanic markets as Miami; Houston; Chicago; San Francisco; Boston; Denver; Atlanta; Philadelphia; Sacramento, Calif.; and Albuquerque, N.M.
Recent and future plans: Comcast, among the first cable operators to devote significant resources to the Hispanic markets, rolled out lower-cost Hispanic tiers in 2003 and has since regularly expanded both linear channels and free Spanish-language VOD content.
Over the last year, the operator has been particularly active in upgrading its Hispanic offerings. Last December, it added 10 new Hispanic channels, including its interactive Xfinity Latino Entertainment channel. The channel offers Hispanics a wide variety of programs as well as recommendations and the ability to click on a recommended show and start watching it immediately.
The MSO has also simplified and expanded its video-on-demand offerings, with VOD consumption increasing 50% in recent years. On Sept. 23, Comcast launched what it called the biggest Hispanic ondemand event in TV history, affording subscribers access to more than 1,000 hours of Hispanic entertainment from its VOD and TV Everywhere offerings.
In the digital arena, Comcast relaunched its Xfinity Latino microsite (xfinity.com/latino) and has been aggressively expanding TV Everywhere offers for Hispanics.
Comcast continues to focus on marketing the Hispanic-targeted bundles that have been available since October 2006, as well as on improving its long-distance calling plans, which offer 300 minutes of free calling to Mexico and Latin America.
Looking forward, the MSO is planning a major revamp of all of its Hispanic packages and bundles late this year or early next year.
Basic subscribers: 20 million
Contact: Karla Sustaita, director, Hispanic segment, (310) 964-5942.
Hispanic video packages: The satellite provider’s lowest-priced offering is Más Latino (more than 50 Spanish-language channels, local broadcasters, secondary audio programming feeds and English-language channels for a total of more than 105 channels for $34.99 (currently promoted at $22.99 for first year). Also offers Optimo Más (60-plus Spanish-language and 115-plus English-language channels); Más Ultra (65-plus Spanish-language and 145-plus English-language channels); and Lo Maximo (75-plus Spanish-language and 240-plus English-language channels).
Spanish VOD, HSI and bundles: Spanish-language ondemand content includes Spanish-language versions of new-release movies, Univision On Demand, Tr3s, ESPN Deportes, Disney Channel, Sprout and Nickelodeon. Video/broadband bundles 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 broadcasters, including Spanish broadcasters, in many markets.
Recent and future plans: DirecTV continues to expand its channel lineup with new Spanish-language channels, HD content and TV Everywhere products. Recently added channels include beIN Sport and beIN Sport en Español in HD; Univision Deportes Network in HD; Univision tlnovelas; and ForoTV. As part of its push to get more HD content, Galavision and ESPN Deportes were recently launched in HD. Many of its premium movie channels are also available in SAP. Current promitions include a $24-per-month discount on Óptimo Más for first year; $30 discount on the Más Ultra package of more than 215 English and Spanish-language channels, normally priced at $64.99; and $30 discount on the Lo Máximo package with more than 320 channels, normally priced at $124.99.
Basic subscribers: 14.0 million
Contact: Alfredo Rodriguez, VP of Latino marketing, email@example.com, (303) 723-1546; Alex Coward, manager of Latino programming, firstname.lastname@example.org, (303)723-1257.
Hispanic-video packages: Dish- LATINO Básico (more than 55 channels for $24.99); DishLATINO Clásico (more than 180 channels for $35.99, currently being promoted at $24.99 for the first 12 months); DishLATINO Plus ($41.99 for more than 190 Spanish and English channels, currently being promoted at $24.99 for the first 12 months); DishLATINO Dos (more than 225 English and Spanish channels for $48.99, currently promoted at $29.99 for the first 12 months); DishLATINO Max (more than 265 English and Spanish channels for $61.99, currently promoted at $39.99 for the first 12 months. The satellite-TV provider also has FlexTV offerings that do not require contracts or credit checks.
Spanish VOD, HSI and bundles: Offers Spanish-language movies and television shows to subscribers who have set-top boxes capable of receiving on-demand content; has rolled out TV Everywhere apps and authenticated online mobile offerings that provide subscribers with access to Dish content; subscribers with Hopper With Sling boxes 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; its Blockbuster Instant Video offering, free for the first three months, has Spanish-language titles for streaming.
Major Hispanic markets: National footprint with local broadcast stations available in most markets.
Recent and future plans: Dish was the first multichannel provider to seriously target the Hispanic market and continues to have more subscribers to Hispanic packages than any other operator.
Over the last year, Dish has made some generalmarket moves that have been particularly popular with Hispanics, including a recent promotion for a free iPad and the addition of soccer to the game finder app in its Hopper whole-home DVR, which the operator believes will be very appealing in the run-up to the 2014 World Cup. The Hopper With Sling also allows users to access live streams and DVR content on other devices in and out of the home.
In addition to the bundles it has long offered with U.S. telcos, Dish recently struck an alliance with Claro in Puerto Rico so its video offerings appear on the same bill as the telco’s phone and broadband-Internet services.
Dish has also placed renewed focus on subscriber retention, and customers are staying with the provider for longer than they had in the past. It continues to push to expand HD and digital offerings as part of its TV Everywhere efforts.
Time Warner Cable
Basic subscribers: 12.1 million
High-speed Internet subscribers: 11.5 million
Voice subscribers: 5.2 million
Contact: Marisol Martinez, senior director of relationship marketing, (212) 430-7251.
Hispanic video packages: Offers several, but the primary one is El Paquetazo (65 to 80 Spanish-language channels for a total of 150 to 180-plus channels, as well as access to VOD for $29.99 to $41.99, depending on region).
Hispanic VOD, HSI and bundles: Lo Mejor on Demand offers more than 160 free Spanish-language programs; TWC is expanding its iPad app and TV Everywhere offerings for a total of roughly 40 Spanish-language networks on its TWC TV service; offers a variety of triple-play packages marketed to Hispanics.
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: 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 that has boosted Hispanic subs.
TWC has continued to focus on improving its bundles and TV Everywhere content geared to Hispanics, the largest ethnic group the MSO serves. Its TWC TV app/website now offers up to 300 total channels, with roughly 40 Spanish-language channels and is particularly popular in multigenerational homes, where parents or grandparents can watch Spanish-language TV while younger members of the family view content on tablets.
TWC is currently offering its lowest-priced bundles ever, starting at $69.99. It has also rolled out a Global Penny Phone Plan that lets customers call a number of Latin American countries, as well as other destinations around the world, for 1 cent per minute.
The second-largest U.S. MSO has also launched Nexo, a magazine for Spanish-dominant consumers that offers information on TWC’s services and products.
Other top priorities include additional HD content, social-media efforts at its Facebook MiCultura page, and improved bundles — including wireless bundles with Verizon, expected to launch next year.
Verizon FiOS TV
Basic video subscribers: 5.0 million
High-speed Internet subscribers: 5.8 million
Mobile subscribers: 100.1 million
Retail residence voice connections: 11.6 million
Contact: Oscar Madrid, director of multicultural marketing.
Hispanic packages: The telco’s lowest-cost FiOS TV option is the “Spanish-Language Package” (around 70 Spanish-language channels for $14.99 per month); 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 $94.99 in a triple-play bundled package or $84.99 when purchased online as part of a triple-play bundle); various more-expensive options.
Spanish VOD, HSD and bundles: FiOS offers a variety of Spanish-language VOD movies and television programming; offers La Conexión bundle and the Spanish- Language Package with other bundles; has Spanish-language website (verizon.com/espanol) and has added Spanish-language online customer assistance.
Major Hispanic markets: New York, New Jersey, Texas, Florida, California and other markets.
Recent and future plans: Hispanic markets have always been an important part of Verizon’s strategy for FiOS TV, which now offers some of the largest channel counts in the industry as well as extensive bundles.
FiOS recently added Spanish and English feeds of beIN Sports and continues extensive research into the needs of the very diverse Hispanic community. As a result of research showing an interest by English-dominant Hispanics in having their kids learn Spanish, it began a major English-language campaign to promote its Spanish tiers, which produced a notable uptick in its $14.99 Spanish-language package as a bolt-on to existing services.
Verizon has also has begun promoting online sales of its packages, offering a $10 discount for subscribers who take La Conexión, and has added Spanish features to its pop-up customer support for online purchases.
New HD channels for Hispanics continue to be a major focus, along with adding Spanish-language content to its TV Everywhere offering, providing a mix of channels to address the diversity of the Hispanic community and marketing its bundles.
AT&T U-verse TV
Basic video subscribers: 5.0 million
High-speed wired Internet subscribers: 16.4 million
Voice wireline connections: 30.2 million
Wireless subscribers: 107.9 million
Contacts: Aaron Slator, president, content and advertising; Ryan Smith, VP, content acquisition; Julie Tran, director of content; (310) 552-0279.
Hispanic video packages: Paquete Español (as many as 50 channels for $15 a month on top of any U-verse TV programming tier); “U200 Latino” (up to 330 channels, including the channels in Paquete Español, for $84); U300 Latino (up to 410 channel including Paquete Español for $99); U450 Latino (up to 480 channels including Paquete Español for $131). Customers who order U200, U300 or U450 can add Paquete Español for $10.
Spanish VOD, HSD and bundles: The U-verse Movies library offers thousands of hours of free and paid on-demand titles including Spanish-language movies, children’s programs and events, as well as VOD content from five Spanish-language networks. AT&T offers 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; and 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 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, the telco has added Cine Estelar, Cine Nostalgia and beIN Sport and has plans to add two more channels by year-end. Its main focus, though, has been on strengthening its lineup by replacing underperforming services with more popular channels.
Another top priority is expanding the “TV Everywhere” content available on multiple digital platforms. Last November, it added Univision content to its U-verse website and apps for smartphones and iPad; U-verse TV subscribers can also access Univision content at Uvideos.com and the Uvideos mobile applications with their U-verse TV ID. More recently, subs were able to access ESPN Deportes as part of the authenticated Watch ESPN app.
Recent promotions include a free preview weekend (Sept. 13-15) featuring Paquete Español, HBO Latino, Cinema Latino and Encore Español in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and a variety of discounts for triple-play bundles.
Total residential and business customers: About 6 million
Basic-video subscribers: 4.5 million (SNL Kagan estimate; privately held Cox does not disclose subscriber data)
Contact: Luis Caballero, executive director for Hispanic marketing, Luis.Caballero@cox.com.
Hispanic video packages: Paquete Latino (about 35 Spanish-language networks and a total of 145 channels for $29.99 to $31.99); “El Mix” (around 40 Spanish-language networks and around 180 total channels for $39.99 to $44.99); Super Mix (49 Spanish- language and about 250 total channels, VOD and Cox TV online, for $70.99); local systems customize channels and pricing.
Hispanic VOD, HSI and bundles: A variety of English and Spanish-language movies, music and other TV programming on demand; a variety of bundles, including a current promotion for a year-long $75 triple-play offering and other, lower-cost high-speed data and voice offerings; low-cost long distance offerings include the Mi Mexico plan.
Major Hispanic markets: Markets Hispanic offerings across its entire footprint but has the largest concentrations in 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, with the launch of the El Mix tier in 2010.
This summer, Cox added Univision Deportes and Univision tlnovelas to its Spanish-language offerings in Arizona, Nevada and California, and is expecting to add additional channels in late 2013 and early 2014 to bring its total of Spanish-language networks to 52. Cox is targeting the total “Hispanic” market, with offerings that will serve Spanish-dominant, bilingual and English-dominant Hispanics.
The MSO has made a number of general-market moves that are proving popular with Hispanics, who overindex on digital platforms. These include expansion of its TV Everywhere services and the launch of Contour, a second-screen iPad app that aggregates live TV, on-demand and DVR recordings, and bakes in personalized recommendations. As the user views more Spanish-language or Hispanic programming, the app offers more recommendations in those areas, making it easier to find Hispanic content.
Low-cost bundles, including a current triple-play promotion for one year of $25 video, $25 high-speed Internet and $25 phone service targeted to Hispanics, remain a top priority. About 65% of all Hispanic customers take two or more products.
Cox is also looking to expand its Spanish-language VOD packages and to better serve Hispanic millennials.
Basic video subscribers: 4.1 million
High-speed Internet subscribers: 4.1 million
Phone subscribers: 2.1 million
Contact: Jim Obermeyer, senior VP of marketing, (203) 905-7946.
Hispanic video packages: Packages with up to 45 Spanish-language channels cost $5 on top of general- market offerings TV Select, TV Silver or TV Gold.
Hispanic VOD, HSI and bundles: A growing library of Spanish-language VOD; various packages for Hispanics include a triple-play offering with PaqueTV and more than 200 channels, free HD, free calling to Mexico and Internet speeds of 30 Megabits per second for $94.97; Spanish-language website (charter.com/español).
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: Charter has become much more aggressive in the Hispanic market with new packages and bundles, and plans to add additional channels and offerings as it goes all-digital in more markets.
Basic video subscribers: 2.9 million
High-speed Internet subscribers: 2.8 million
Voice lines: 2.3 million
Contact: Paul Strickland, VP of video product strategy and operations, (516) 803-3693, email@example.com.
Hispanic video packages: Optimum en Español (more than 48 Spanish-language channels and a Spanish-language VOD service starting at $10.95 a month for subscribers to Optimum Value and above).
Hispanic VOD, HSI and bundles: More than 150 hours of Spanish-language VOD programming a month; a variety of promotions for video, Internet and phone; flat-rate plans for unlimited local and long-distance calling within the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada; Optimum Voice World Call, which provides up to 250 minutes of calling anywhere in the world, including up to 30 minutes of calls to Cuba, for $19.95; Spanish-language customer Web portal, Optimum. net en Español; more than 50 networks available with the Optimum TV to GO “TV Everywhere” service.
Major Hispanic markets: Greater New York City area, including the Bronx, parts of Brooklyn, and parts of New Jersey and Long Island.
Recent and future plans: Optimum en Español, along with other international services offered by Optimum TV, has been carried across Cablevision’s footprint since 2006. Over the past year, Cablevision added new Spanish-language networks and launched a new, faster, simpler customer Web portal, Optimum.net, where customers can switch between English and Spanish.
The operator has also been expanding its lineup of TV everywhere content, adding Telemundo, Deportes Telemundo, mun2, ESPN Deportes and Uvideos (content from Univision, UniMas, and Galavision). The Optimum App for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Kindle Fire and laptops allows for live TV viewing anywhere in the home.
Bright House Networks
Total customers: About 2.5 million
Basic video subscribers: About 2 million (SNL Kagan estimate; privately held operator)
Hispanic video packages: Varies by location. The Tampa Bay and Central Florida/Orlando markets offer Nuestros Canales (a Spanish-language tier that features 24 exclusive video channels and five audio services, plus Spanish-language VOD, for $9 on top of other video tiers). Those markets also offer a total of 47 Hispanic networks carried on the Basic, Standard, Digital and Hispanic tiers.
The Bakersfield, Calif., market also offers Nuestros Canales. Apart from that package, Bakersfield has a total of 41 Hispanic networks carried on the Basic, Standard, Digital and Hispanic tiers.
Hispanic VOD, HSI and bundles: The Florida and Bakersfield markets offer Lo Mejor On Demand (more than 300 hours of programming from Univision, Telefutura, Telemundo and others); both have Mi Plan Latino package (basic video service plus Nuestros Canales, the Digital Navigator guide, Hispanic Digital Music Choice and a Digital Converter) and the Mi Plan Latino Plus package (standard-level video service, Nuestros Canales, the Digital Navigator guide, Hispanic Digital Music Choice and a Digital Converter). Bakersfield market also offers TV Para ti (a combination of English and Spanish networks offered in a bundle with either HSD lite, or HSD standard and phone); the high-speed data service offers extensive Spanish-language pages for Hispanic customers; and Hispanic-targeted Mi Mexico and Latin American Call Plans are offered in all Bright House markets.
Major Hispanic markets: The Florida markets, including Tampa-St. Petersburg; Central Florida; and Bakersfield, Calif.
Recent and future moves: Bright House continues to work to improve its offerings, which include InfoMas, an exclusive 24-hour local Spanish channel with news, sports, weather, community news and other programming that is available in Florida on the Digital tier.
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