Univision Communications used its upfront presentation to advertisers today to spotlight a new effort to promote diversity on its Fusion pay TV channel — and challenge the view that it’s losing share to Comcast’s Telemundo.
Fusion introduced a Creative Board chaired by scholar Henry Louis Gates that it says will “work to identify the next generation of creators and build a pipeline of diverse talent the network can tap into.”
The board will include actresses Viola Davis, Jodie Foster, and Meryl Streep, documentary director Ezra Edelman, and rapper Residente.
“Whether we are talking about pop culture or politics, technology or sports, we are in the buisness of representing and amplifying the voices of multicultural communities in the United States,” says Fusion TV President Daniel Eilemberg. The content company will collaborate to “ensure that the stories we tell on our network and platforms resonate with our audience because they are representative of who they are as individuals.”
Advertising Sales EVP Steve Mandala acknowledged to advertisers that Univision “had some makeup work to do” with them, adding that “we did it.”
And he disputed a view that there’s a shift among Spanish language viewers to Telemundo, benefiting from stepped up attention and investments by its parent, Comcast’s NBCUniversal.
“I ever so politely tell you that that is a crock of shift,” Mandala says. The idea that Univision has “lost any of its luster in comparison to our competition…simply isn’t true despite a lot of tortured effort to distort the data.”
He says that Univision Communications accounts for 100% of the growth in the Spanish language broadcast market. “Last time I checked, that’s a solid ‘A’ on our report card.”
Mandala adds that along with Univision’s status as the most watched Spanish language TV network, Unimas is “the No. 2 Spanish language broadcast network, beating Telemundo.”
UCI also has the top rated local news stations in Los Angeles, Dallas and New York “regardless of language,” the ad chief says.
Later he urged advertisers to “watch where you spend those dollars” in Spanish language broadcasting noting that Univision “delivers a 75% share of the adult 18-to-49 audience, while our chief rival delivers 25%.”
Advertising Sales and Marketing President Keith Turner kicked off the event highlighting what he says is Univision’s audience’s “passion” for the programming — which the company says spans generations.
That “creates connections between audiences and advertisers,” he says. “That connection is priceless to brands trying to engage with their targets.”