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Saying 'Si’ to Digital

To prove it is muy caliente with its target market, Sí TV has participated in a variety of affiliate promotions designed to attract English-dominant Hispanics as digital-tier subscribers.

For instance in Los Angeles, that’s meant helping the newly dominant provider, Time Warner Cable, introduce itself to this niche via sponsorship of a showcase of Latino comedians. Further north, in Fresno, the network created a campaign leveraging Sí TV’s dating show, Dating Factory, to “court” Latino customers for Comcast.

“We pitch ourselves as a bridge, a vehicle, to reach that important segment,” said Sí TV CEO Michael Schwimmer. “We work with [providers] to become that bridge so they can serve it better.”

The Los Angeles promotion was tied to another Sí TV property: the Latino Laugh Festival. That showcase, held in the past in San Antonio, Texas, has helped launch the career of Carlos Mencia, Gabriel Iglesias and Joey Medina. This June, the festival was moved to Los Angeles, where operator Time Warner Cable passes a demographic that is 50% Latino.

Fifty comics performed at eight Hollywood Boulevard locations during the three-day event. Time Warner’s logo was featured on all signage and on-site branding and in banner ads on the websites supporting the festival. A sweepstakes was advertised at Web site, offering a trip for two to the comedy fest. The network and Time Warner Cable also held open-audition nights for local comics, which were held across the region.

On the public affairs side, a campaign supported First Star, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving child welfare, with the partners raising $100,000 for the group.

In Fresno, Sí TV helped Comcast with a digital-subscriber acquisition drive. The dating-themed promotion included local radio interviews with Dating Factory co-host Carmen Palumbo, who mentioned the local operator, as well as newspaper and radio ads and customized cross-channel spots.

Sí TV motivated call-center employees with such dating-themed premiums as flowers, chocolates and dinner gift certificates for the top sellers of digital units each week. The top prize at the end of the month-long initiative: a limo ride and dinner on a local river cruise.

The campaign netted 3,400 digital connections in Comcast’s Fresno and Central California systems, according to Sí TV.

Systems such as Cox Communications Inc.’s Las Vegas and Baton Rouge systems have also taken advantage of a Sí TV “off-the-shelf” promotion, “Turn up the heat with Sí TV.” Systems offer digital cable for a special price and new subscribers are automatically entered to win an all-expenses paid trip to Cancun, provided by Sí TV.

Operators have found a market for Sí TV in non-Hispanic markets such as Baton Rouge and Detroit, Schwimmer said, positing that other ethnic groups embrace multicultural programming.