By: David Lawenda
This week, the New York Times published an eye-opening piece on Hispanic audiences watching English-language TV. The catch? They’re not watching – at least not in big numbers. Tanzina Vega and Bill Carter reported on what we like to call the “inconvenient truth” for clients and agencies today: a Spanish-language media plan is essential to reaching all your potential customers.
Vega and Carter analyzed the audiences of some of the top-rated English-language shows on TV today. From “NCIS” to “Modern Family,” Hispanic audiences accounted for only between 3 percent to 6 percent of their total viewers. Consider that Hispanics make up 16% of the total population. The imbalance is a big one.
So, what are U.S. Hispanics watching on TV? The article points out that the season finale of “Modern Family” was trumped by the top Spanish-language show that week, the novela “La Que No Podia Amar” (The One Who Couldn’t Love), which attracted 5.2 million viewers. We also know that nearly nine million unique viewers watched “Premios Juventud,” our awards show celebrating the year’s best in youth pop culture, and another 5.8 million unique viewers watched Mexico defeat five-time World Champion Brazil in a fútbol friendly earlier this year.
Another recent story, this time on MediaBizBloggers.com, called sports the “last bastion of mass audiences.” I agree with them, but I’d also add novelas and Spanish-language entertainment programming like reality franchises and music awards shows to that list.