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‘Nación ESPN’ Goes Bilingual on ESPN2

As advertisers who wish to reach multicultural audiences increasingly embrace “total market” approaches, Spanish-language TV networks have largely abandoned the standalone upfronts held each May (except for Univision Communications, which has no bigger English-language sibling to tie into).

ESPN Deportes shifted to this approach, rolling its upfront into ESPN’s company-wide effort.

Now, the Worldwide Leader has extended that approach to programming, bringing one of ESPN Deportes’s most-popular studio shows to its network English-language ESPN2. On Monday, Sept. 26, ESPN2 bowed a weekly, hour-long version of Nacion ESPN at 5 p.m. ET,

The interactive talk show, which draws much of its content from viewer interactions via ESPN’s social media platforms to, is hosted by Jorge Sedano, co-host of the Mornings with Keyshawn and Jorge and LZ radio program on ESPN Radio’s KSPN-AM in Los Angeles; Bernardo Osuna, the network’s boxing reporter and host of ESPN Deportes’s A Los Golpes; and reporter and baseball expert Marly Rivera.

What’s notable is that the program affords the hosts the opportunity to provide viewers “information they want in the most authentic manner and in the language they prefer.”

That’s historic, as bilingual programming on a broadcast or cable network geared primarily for non-ethnic viewers hasn’t been seen often. In Quebec, it’s been banned by the government for nearly 40 years.

But this is the U.S., and marketers seeking to reach what market research firm Geoscape has coined the “new American mainstream” now have what ESPN Deportes vice president and general manager Freddy Rolón said is a vehicle designed to “speak to the audience in a way that resonates with their evolving multicultural lifestyles and interests. [This] strengthens our commitment to better serve a diverse sports fan base while also generating opportunities for advertisers with a total market approach.”

Toyota is the show’s presenting sponsor, extending its existing ties to ESPN’s SportsNation and the ESPN Deportes edition of Nación ESPN. As the lead sponsor, Toyota will be featured across all elements of the program, including graphics, segments, promotions, and media presence during telecasts and across the show’s digital and social media platforms.

“Toyota and ESPN have a decade-long partnership, working together on industry-leading programming, from SportsNation to Nación ESPN on ESPN Deportes,” Lisa Materazzo, GM of media strategy and engagement at Toyota Motor Sales, said. “Bringing Nación to the ESPN2 audience evolves how we reach a Hispanic audience in a smart, compelling way.”

Gillette, Allstate and Taco Bell are also on board as inaugural sponsors of Nación ESPN. Each sponsor will have unique integrations across the show’s features and segments.