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Hispanic TV Summit: Are Latino Viewers Underserved?

New York -- It really doesn't matter what platform that Hispanic viewers favor, programmers need to do a better job of informing consumers what's on.
That was the lingering theme from the panel "It's the Content That Matters - Increasing Revenue and Viewers by Improving Program Options" at B&C/Multichannel News's ninth annual Hispanic Television Summit here Sept. 20.
Marketing is still a crucial need for networks, even as the Hispanic population in the U.S. skyrockets. "You need to better job of letting the consumer know what the content is," said Lisa Torres, President, ZO.
Torres warned that it's not just shows on plain old television that need a special marketing message. " We are underserving this consumer from a digital aspect," Torres said. "I see a lot of talk, but not enough action." In the same way that popular brands market merchandise, networks need to up their game, according to Torres.
Carmen DiRienzo, president and CEO of Vme Media Inc., said the company is more focused than ever on engagement. Recently, the firm has held marketing events, such as cook-offs in malls, that help pound home the message about what's on. "They are with you for an hour and they're telling you who they are. What we have to demonstrate is that we understand who that consumer is...and that's what engagement is all about," she said.
All the panelists agreed that especially in a down economy, underscoring the value and relevance of the programming is key. "The quality of the content, no matter how its delivered, is what's important to the viewer," said DiRienzo.
Said Jorge Tanaka, general manager, Video Rola, "When we use content in these other forms [VOD, social networks, music] it's not to have a large library -- it's the way you use it."