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Telemundo Pitches Brave New World–and Share Growth–for Advertisers

The marquee at Broadway's Al Hirschfeld Theater in midtown
Manhattan is touting the revival of How to Succeed in Business Without
Really Trying
. Come May, media buyers and advertisers will see a different
kind of show at the theater, pushing the idea of how their businesses can
succeed with the help of Telemundo Media.

Telemundo COO Jacqueline Hernandez says the May 15 presentation will use the
theme "Brave New Telemundo Media" and tell a story of growth, both in the increase
of prominence of Spanish-language media and marketing, and the expansion of
Telemundo as part of NBCUniversal.

While still far behind Hispanic leader Univision, Telemundo, says Hernandez, is
closing the gap. So far this year, the network has grown its share by 5% among
total viewers in both primetime (now a 24% share) and total day (30%).

"We're living in a brave new world," Hernandez says. "The demographics speak
for themselves. The marketplace is growing. It's exploding. Then within that,
in our world, Telemundo is just on fire. Telemundo is growing very

It's also a brave new world for the network, which has new corporate ownership.
"We have Comcast and NBCU really backing us up now. They are making
investments. They understand the importance of investing and doubling down on
Telemundo and the Hispanic market," Hernandez adds.

The investments are in programming, such as the purchase of the
Spanish-language rights to soccer's World Cup. That won't kick off till 2015,
but at this year's upfront, Telemundo will be rolling out new formats and
genres in entertainment and alternative programming to go along with its
familiar novelas.

There are also investments in people and research to help maximize and measure
how Hispanic marketing performs.

"For the past year, Telemundo has had significant ratings growth with the
telenovelas they've been producing," says Lillian Roman, senior partner and
associate director for national broadcast at media agency MEC. One new novela, Corazon
, has given Telemundo a foothold in the 9 p.m. hour dominated by
Univision. Both networks should be considered by marketers looking to reach the
Hispanic market, she says.

While Roman hasn't yet been briefed on Telemundo's programming plans for next
season, she says its pitches have changed to a more 360-degree approach, with
research and digital executives joining its salespeople. "It's more
comprehensive. That's good," she says.

For the upfront, Roman says it's unclear if marketers will be increasing
budgets. "What's interesting is the landscape change," she says, with Univision
starting a new cable network and Fox International launching its own
Spanish-language channel. Networks are also producing more programming in the
U.S., she adds. "That's a big coup for the market and for advertisers."

Telemundo's Hernandez says she expects spending on Spanish-language TV to grow
because of Hispanic consumers' increased spending power. And for advertisers
looking to reach Spanish-speaking consumers, they want it noted that No. 2 is
trying harder.

"You want to be with the winner, you want to be with who's going to grow, and
we're growing," she says. "But we're all about, as we grow, we want to grow our
partners' business and we want to do it in creative ways that are going to
connect and hook and capture the hearts of consumers."

Telemundo's share of ad dollars tends to be higher than its share of audience.

"It's because of what we do. It goes way beyond just selling advertisers
viewers. It's the integrations that we do," Hernandez says. Now that Telemundo
is producing more of its content, it can do product placement and more.

"We take it to another level," Hernandez says. "[Products] become a part of the
story line, and we bring them into what we do. We welcome them creating
original content with our advertisers. In some cases we will even coproduce
spots or do things that are really out of the box. They feel like interstitials
that have the advertiser and our own talent and our own novela stories woven in."

This week, Telemundo is hosting advertisers in its studio in Miami. "They meet
our producers and our programmers and we talk about what their objectives are
and what they're looking to do to reach the same consumers we're looking to
reach," Hernandez says. "We brainstorm and we come up with different ways to be
able to deliver that. And on top of it all, we also invest in the research
tools to be able to measure what the engagement is and what the results are.
And across the board, they over-index and show higher awareness and higher
viewer engagement. And that's what leads to the revenue."