Utilisima Touts Ratings, Cooks Up Reality Series

Utilisima, the Fox-owned lifestyle Spanish-language cable network, released its first Nielsen results since becoming a fully rated network on Oct. 1.

Among its core demographic (Hispanic women age 25 and older), Utilisima said it emerged as the third highest-rated Hispanic cable network, beating players such as NBC Universal's mun2 and Viacom's MTVtr3s.

"The amazing growth and popularity of Utilisima has exceeded even our own expectations," Hernan Lopez, president and COO, Fox International Channels, told Hispanic TV Update.

Launched barely three months ago in the U.S. with a dedicated feed, Utilisima has grown to establish itself as a network preferred by adult women with original programming that targets a demographic that has not been catered to in the past.

"There are no networks that specifically target Hispanic women; and we want to be the network adult women can call their own," Lopez said.

Utilísima primarily attracts adult Latinas. Seventy-two percent of Utilisima viewers are over the age of 25 and 67% are women.

The network this week (Nov. 14) premiered Cocineros al límite, a 13-episode reality cooking series hosted by renowned Colombian chefs Mark and Jorge Raush.

Modeled after reality shows displaying the singing or dancing abilities of contestants, Cocineros follows two teams made up of 14 young cooks from Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela, who will have to prove the Rausch brothers their talent and love for cooking.

A cook will leave the show at the end of every episode until only three of them make it to the big final. The winner will be awarded with post-graduate studies at Cordon Bleu Peru, with all expenses covered.

While cooking shows play an important part of Utilisima's content (it represents a third of its programming), the network also features shows on home improvement, health, beauty, parenting and crafts.

The focus on women has quickly earned the channel a healthy string of advertisers: Sears, Procter and Gamble, Ford Motor Co., Kmart, El Jimador, Farmers Insurance, SC Johnson, Toyota, Daisy Sour Cream, Kellogg's, Prudential, T-Mobile and Wal-Mart have all signed on.

"We were blatantly surprised by the reception we received from advertisers," Lopez said. "They told us: ‘How come nobody had come up with a proposal like this?' "

Utilisima reaches 4.5 million paid homes, half of which are Hispanic households (representing 20% Hispanic multichannel penetration). It is carried by Dish Latino, Comcast, Cablevision, Time Warner Cable, Charter and Verizon FiOS TV, and Lopez confirmed negotiations are taking place with DirecTV and AT&T U-verse.