Univision Doubles Down on Favorite Formats

By Upfronts/NewFronts Archives
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Year after year, Univision Communications could be counted on to stage one of the energetic, data-packed, and entertaining New York Upfront events, more recently inside Broadway theaters near Times Square. Although the 2020 edition, produced live last week, didn't play to a packed crowd, the up-tempo spirit was in play and as engaging as ever.

The Big Message: Univision's collection of linear channels—Univision, UniMas, Galavision and TUDN—remain the top TV preference of U.S. Latino consumers, with the spending power to be a top vehicle for advertisers. Mothership Univision, for example, concluded its 28th straight season as the top Spanish-language network, and the fifth most-watched net in all of broadcast or cable TV across numerous key demographics, regardless of language.

Hosts: Univision chief executive officer Vince Sandusky, joined by entertainment president and chief marketing officer Jessica Rodriguez (pictured below), president of ad sales and marketing Steve Mandela (pictured at top) and Univision Deportes president Juan Carlos Rodriguez

What Worked: Smooth delivery of all the individual presentations from Sandusky and colleagues, all originating from the company's Miami and New York studios. Each one featured a plentiful assortment of video clips and videowall-placed graphics.

What Also Worked: Musical numbers that opened and closed the presentation. Musical superstar Pitbull kicked things off with "I Believe That We Will Win," a bouncy tune incorporating music video techniques, live dancers, and rows of monitors with people joining in the chorus. For the closer, Univision staff members and on-air talent were united in all sorts of remote locations for singing The Beatles classic "Here Comes the Sun."

What Also Worked, Part II: A 30-minute post-event press conference with all the key executives taking part. Nice variety of questions and a few news nuggets coming to light, including key content provider Televisa resuming production of upcoming nightly Univision and UniMas series over the last two weeks, to discussions for Spanish-language telecasts of the special Major League Soccer and National Women's Soccer League tournaments this summer.

What Didn't Work: The absence of segments covering what's ahead at Galavision (still the top Spanish-language cable network) and Univision Now (Univision's smart TV set and connected device programming venture). A few minutes about their future plans would have done the trick.

Data Points: Latinos represent about 20 percent of the U.S. population, driving gross domestic product growth 32 percent faster than non-Latino citizens. Latino households making $100,000 or more a year grow more than two times faster than non-Latino households at the same income level, according to factoids presented by Sandusky and Mandela. UniMas's primetime viewing this past season was up 45 percent

News: Univision and UniMas will premiere 11 scripted series during the 2020-21 season. Univision's new primetime telenovela programs from Televisa and other sources include Si No Desir/If They Let Us and Imperio de Mentras/Empire Of Lies. UniMas will offer Guerreros 2020, a new nightly unscripted competition series, while Univision will launch a new pair of annual music specials: Latin Grammy Honors and Iconos de la Musica/Music Icons.

Parting Words: "We are different, we are relevant, and we deal with our audience that we never take for granted," Sandusky declared during his opening remarks.

Photos courtesy of Univision.

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