Competition is heating up between Spanish-language television and network giants like ABC and CBS. Univision is closing in fast, and the Miami-based network has a killer strategy—us!
"We expect to be the number one [network] in this country in five years," said Univision Network president Cesar Conde during a conference for the National Association of Television Program Executives. "What we have to do is instill that hunger to be number one in our staff and then we have to have flawless execution," Conde added.
The leading Spanish network is well on its way to meet the goal. Univision reached major milestones in television ratings in 2010. In July, Premios Juventud, the three-hour award show that featuring Shakira and Enrique Iglesias, topped broadcast network ratings among the 18-49 audience. During the grand finale of “Soy Tu Dueña” in late December, the network’s popular soap opera attracted more than 7.3 million Monday-night viewers, topping the ratings in cities like Los Angeles, Miami and New York. Univision was also the top watched network during the first week of the month among the key age group of 18-49 according to USA Today.
These constant milestones speak to the increasing power of Latinos. And they not only underscore the need to have more Latinos on English-language primetime shows, but also the possibility of a Latino network actually leading the industry. And Univision ins't the only Spanish-language network aiming for domination. NBC’s Telemundo produces its own primetime telenovelas, like the upcoming Reina del Sur about a female drug lord, which is set to premiere next month.
"In 2050 one of every three Americans will be Hispanic," Telemundo president Don Browne told the NATPE audience during his individual Q&A session. “It's a significant gamechanger in our country,” he concluded. “Perhaps the biggest in the history of our media.”