Uva Shares ‘Magic Sauce’ To Attract U.S. Hispanics

NEW YORK — NBCUniversal’s Hispanic programming chief said two things are required to dominate in Hispanic programming with Spanish- and English-language offerings attractive to the growing and increasingly diverse U.S. Hispanic audience: size and relevance.

“You all know that Hispanics are younger in age, larger in families, greater in population, and they’re climbing the socioeconomic ladder more rapidly than any other demographic in the country,” Joe Uva, chairman of Hispanic enterprises and content at Comcast-owned NBCUniversal, declared at the summit opening. “That translates into a unique opportunity.”

Speaking at the 11th Annual Hispanic Television Summit sponsored by Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable here on Oct. 2, he added, “We have one of the biggest, if not the biggest, growth markets right here in our own backyard, and that’s the U.S. Hispanic community.”

Uva, the former CEO of U.S. Spanish-language media leader Univision who joined NBCU in April, said: “Our perspective at NBCU is, having a couple of Spanish-language networks is probably just the right amount for us. And having a lot of choice of relevant content that sits across the rest of that portfolio, to talk to the English-speaking population, that’s really the magic sauce for us.”

He said NBCU content across platforms that include Spanish-speaking Telemundo and mun2 but also NBC and the NBCU English-language cable networks typically reaches some 90% of U.S. Hispanics ages 18 and older, more than any other TV group.

Reaching English-speaking Hispanics, he said, “is about great storytelling, it’s about content and ideas that translate, it’s not about language.”

Uva, whose background also included 17 years at Turner Broadcasting, told interviewer Mark Robichaux, Multichannel News editor in chief, that telenovelas were still working as a successful category, particularly with an older Spanish-speaking audience.

“What’s really been working, though, is the more action, adventure, edgier content in dramatic series that we have now been running as shorter novelas on Telemundo that are a little bit faster paced than a traditional novela,” he added.

Kent Gibbons

Kent has been a journalist, writer and editor at Multichannel News since 1994 and with Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He is a good point of contact for anything editorial at the publications and for Nexttv.com. Before joining Multichannel News he had been a newspaper reporter with publications including The Washington Times, The Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal and North County News.