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NYC TV Week: Telemundo’s Silberwasser — Spanish Language TV ‘Alive and Well’

New York — Spanish language television is alive and well, according to Telemundo president Luis Silberwasser.

“You can see the demand for Spanish language television is pretty significant,” he told interviewer and Noticiero Telemundo co-anchor María Celeste Arrarás during a session at The Hispanic Television Summit Oct. 22.

Silberwasser added, however, that the reduction in immigration from Spanish speaking countries has had an effect.

“Clearly there is a shift going on,” the exec said. “But it has opened also the door for the number of bilinguals are growing. So for us it’s an opportunity,” said Silberwasser.

He attributes the network’s recent ratings success to original content and innovation, which helps them reach the evolving Hispanic audience, including millennials.

For example, the network has launched “Telemundo Súper Series,” which differ from traditional telenovelas in that they have fewer episodes, higher end production and pumped up action. Súper series El Señor de los Cielos recently launched its second season and to help audience members catch up, the network released a comic book summarizing season one as well as a digital push preceding the premiere.

“When you try to do something different at a high quality level, I think Telemundo tends to win and I think the audience is able to see a shift in the marketplace right now,” said Silberwasser.

Next year, the network will focus on the election and the 2016 Summer Olympics, which Telemundo acquired the Spanish-language rights to.

“Whoever captures the Hispanic vote will probably be the next president of the United States,” he said, adding that the net is taking a non-partisan approach to politics with the campaign #yodecido.

“You can’t ignore the influence that Hispanics now have on the general mainstream, whether it’s pop culture, whether it’s politics,” he said.

Jessika is content engagement director of Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV. She has been with the brands in various roles since 2013. In her current role, she works primarily behind the screen, keeping an eye on the website and fixing any site bugs. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects for NextTV, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.