Hispanic TV Summit: Young Latino Males Hold Diverse Programming Interests

When it comes to watching TV, the interests of Hispanic males 18 to 34 extend well beyond the "S" words.
That was the conclusion drawn by those listening to executives at the panel entitled, "What Men Want...Exploring The Profitable World Of Programming Para Los Hombres" on Sept. 24 at the Seventh Annual Hispanic Television Summit, sponsored by B&C and Multichannel News.
Cine Latino president John McNamara started by addressing what everybody in the room is aware of.
"We do know that sports and sexy work, but there's no single way to attract 18 to 34s, especially those who are bicultural. Those who have immigrated are more likely to stay in the cocoon of sexy and sports," said McNamara, who noted his company is beginning to reap dividends with video-on-demand films, which also defeats illegitimate forces. "Nothing kills piracy faster than free VOD. It has stickiness; it's a killer application for cable and satellite distributors."
Univision executive vice president and general manager Alina Falcon noted that young Latinos gravitate to sports, movies and news, but to live music, variety shows and novelas as well.
"They can say it's because of their wife or girlfriend, but they're watching novelas," she said. "They grew up watching them with their families at home. Forty-four percent of the primetime audience is male."
Falcon also took the time on the panel, which was moderated by B&C programming editor Marisa Guthrie, to defuse "the myth of the demise of Spanish-language media." She said that during the 2008-09 TV season, 91 of the to 100 shows among males 18 to 34 were on Hispanic television.
After the panel discussion, she noted that "fortunately, the majority of them are on Univision.
Marlene Braga, director of programming, History en Espanol, noted that sports and gaming are not the only sectors occupying a lot of Hispanic males'  viewing time.
"They're coming to our brands, History, History en Espanol and History International. The group is hungry for information. They like science and technology," she said.
This being America, she said, they also "like their guns. Women, too...They want to watch things blow up. They like action," said Braga, adding that shows like Clash of the Gods have seen spikes on online, as well as with Twitter and Facebook activity.
To that end, Traug Keller, senior vice president of production, business divisions at ESPN, said that young adult Latinos are migrating across platforms to take in top sporting events.
"The [Sept. 13] USC-Ohio State football game was a top Hispanic programming. We're pushing viewers to La Liga [Spanish soccer] on ESPN Deportes with promos on Mike & Mike. There are 800,000 podcasts a week from people who don't even listen to radio," he said.
Moreover, ESPN's "game around the game" coverage is appealing to viewers even when they don't have the match. "ESPN Deportes ratings went up 43% that day [Aug. 12] of Mexico-U.S. [World Cup qualifier]," he said.
David Sternberg, executive vice president and general manager of Fox Sports en Espanol, agreed, saying that young Hispanic males' affinity for sports is aligned with the general market.
"The interests of assimilated Hispanic males have evolved beyond the Big 3 of Latino soccer, boxing and baseball," said Sternberg. "They are receptive to European futbol, the Champions League and English Premier League. They also like MMA [mixed martial arts] and we have a deal with UFC. And they like American football, with our weekly NFL highlights."