Simon Cowell has joined Univision‘s effort to dissuade advertisers of the notion that Spanish-language programming is fine for older viewers but not necessarily young Latinos who are bilingual and watch English TV. He’s launching a talent show in 2015, La Banda — a search for five members of a Latino boy band — across the company’s media platforms, he said today at Univision’s upfront presentation. “There was only one destination [for the show], and that was Univision,” he said as execs added that they’ll begin looking for product integrations, which have become de rigueur for TV talent shows. Contestants will come from Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico, and the band will have a recording contract with Sony Music Latin.
The announcement buttressed what’s possibly the most direct sales pitch advertisers will hear from the major networks presenting during upfront week: “You won’t sell your stuff if you don’t speak the language,” EVP Ad Sales Steve Mandala told advertisers in his presentation today. Univision presents itself as the “one media company that’s 100% focused on all Hispanics.” Mandala pointed to rapper Pitbull (he “isn’t just a pop star; he’s a marketing powerhouse”) and Univision’s success selling products for Post’s Honey Bunches Of Oats, Subway, Nissan, and Toyota.
Like everyone else, Univision played up its digital and multimedia initiatives including Uvideos, Flama, and “Variety Latino–Powered by Univision,” an entertainment news alliance with Deadline’s parent, Penske Media Corp. “Our viewers are hyper connected influencers,” head of content distribution Tonia O’Connor says. The company notes that viewers of its Spanis- language TV programs often tweet about them in English.
Univision also spotlighted its 11 cable channels including Galavision, Fusion (a partnership with Disney), and El Rey.
As for programming: Univision talked up new novelas La Gata and Hasta El Fin Del Mundo as well as movies from Pantelion Films. El Rey announced a second season of From Dusk Till Dawn, Matador, Lucha and The Directors Chair. Sports channel Univision Deportes has exclusive Spanish-language rights through 2020 to the Copa America soccer tournament.