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Univision Leads Hispanic Charge

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Upfront week has a Latin undercurrent this year, with more than a half-dozen networks aimed at Hispanic viewers holding presentations and parties.

Spanish-language leader Univision, which holds its upfront presentation May 13, doesn’t see those networks as competition.

“My concern is going after all the brands that are on English-language,” says Keith Turner, president of advertising sales and marketing at Univision. “We get everybody that’s on Telemundo. We want the advertisers on NBC, CBS and ABC.”

Last year, Univision managed to add 95 new advertisers to its roster. “One of our focuses was on business development, and particularly zeroshare accounts,” he says. “We’re definitely moving the needle, so it feels pretty good.”

Turner says there’s a compelling reason for marketers to advertise to Hispanic consumers. “This is an audience of 50 million people that they can’t afford not to pay attention to anymore.”

At the same time, viewership trends are working in Univision’s favor. “English-language [broadcast networks] had a tough first quarter and they’re having a tough second quarter. And we’re running counter to that, so that’s a pretty good story for us.”

When negotiations start, Turner wants Univision to bring all of its assets— network, cable, digital, local TV and radio—to market. “We’re getting out of the 30-second business and into the integrated marketing business.”

One of those assets is soccer. Univision is nearly sold out of the last World Cup it has rights to, but last week it announced it acquired rights to the Copa America Centenario tournament, to be played in the U.S. in 2016.

Naturally, Turner is confident this will be a good upfront for Univision. “It’s early, but I like what we’re hearing in the conversations.”