Skip to main content

Upfronts 2015: Univision Plays Up Its Connection With ‘Billennials’

With some serious star power at the beginning and at the end, Univision offered up a spirited upfront presentation that played up its strength among a newly minted segment of the population: what it calls Billennials, or bilingual Millennials.

After President/CEO Randy Falco saluted the crowd, President Clinton sat for a Q&A with Alicia Menendez, Fusion anchor. Clinton spoke of the vast demographic shift afoot in the U.S., and the increased significance of the Hispanic community, as well as its purchasing power. “There’s data available, and I’d get it and study it if I were an advertiser,” he said.

As the presentation wound down at the Lyric Theatre in Manhattan, Ricky Martin performed a short set. In between that, Keith Turner, president of ad sales and marketing, and Steve Mandala, executive VP of advertising sales, were among those making a case for Univision as “the way forward for marketers to fuel growth.” The sales guys talked up key points such as scale and live viewership among the various Univision networks, including El Rey and Univision Deportes Network.

Others taking the stage included the anchor team of Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas, breaking down how a news story comes together on various platforms, and Juan Carlos Rodriquez, president of sports, touting a new Univision fantasy sports app and plans for Copa America Centenario. Alberto Ciurana, president of programming and content, shared clips of the new shows, including La Viuda Negra 2, Lady and Niño Santo. Univision also announced a second season of the talent search show La Banda, developed by Simon Cowell’s SYCO Entertainment.

Legendary host Don Francisco also got a moment in the spotlight, expressing his gratitude to Univision and to viewers.

“The Hispanic community is a bold, dynamic force fueling the growth of this country and influencing our economy, culture and policymaking across the board,” summed up Falco. “Hispanics represent one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population and are projected to fuel the country’s growth.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.