Sports Panel: Soccer No. 1, But Room for More #HispanicTV

The sports roundtable at B&C/Multichannel’s Hispanic TV Summit didn’t see the abundance of sports as competition for soccer and the eyes of U.S. Hispanic viewers.

“The rise in the popularity of the NBA on ESPN is not coming at the expense of the popularity of the MLS or Champions League,” said Alfonso Alanis-Cue, senior director, partnership marketing, MLS and Soccer United Marketing, to moderator and Multichannel news editor Mike Reynolds.

Alanis-Cue was joined on the panel by John Fitzgerald, VP of multimedia sales, ESPN Deportes; Rick Marroquin, agent, CAA; and Leonardo R. Torress, general manager, DishLATINO Brand.

“Soccer is so large, and there is the opportunity to consume so much soccer across so many different channels and so much media, that you can spend time with your favorite team, right, the Red Bulls, but you can also spend time with FC Barcelona,” added Fitzgerald.

Torress noted that technology only helps sports fans keep up with their favorite teams and leagues at the same time.

“Through our technology we enable our consumers to enjoy all sports,” said Torress. “So as you enjoy your game by using our Hopper, which is our smart DVR, you can have access to all that information. In addition to that, at the same time that you’re watching a game, you can see all the comments that are happening for that specific broadcast on social media.”

Marroquin added that ease of accessibility to a wide range of sports has helped U.S. Hispanic viewers branch out from their favorite or local team.

“I think it boils down to globalization. The ease of access to all of it. If you are a fan of cricket and you want to watch the international cricket championship in India live, there’s a way to do that.”

As for which sport comes in second among Hispanic sports fans, it’s the other football.

“If you ask me, I think it’s football,” said Marroquin. “I think it’s American football. It is the most popular sport in the United States by a couple of touchdowns. I think MLB has not done as well as it could at reaching its younger consumer. I think the NFL has taken that opening.”