PwC Report: U.S. Hispanics Prefer English-Language TV Shows By Wide Margin


A new report on the viewing habits of U.S. Hispanics has some bad news for Spanish-language broadcasters like Telemundo and Univision. The report found Hispanics watch and enjoy shows on English-language networks far more than shows aired on Spanish-language networks; that they’re much more likely to buy products advertised on English-language shows; and they trust English-language news programs far more than the news on Spanish-language networks.

The report from PricewaterhouseCoopers also found that this English-language preference increases with each succeeding generation. Of the 500 Hispanics surveyed, 55% of first generation Hispanics said they enjoyed watching English-language shows more than Spanish-language shows, and this grew to 75% among members of the second generation, and to 88% of the third generation. (Read the full report here.)

Of the first-generation Hispanics – those born outside the U.S. – 59% said they feel that the overall quality of English-language programming is better than Spanish-language programming. This view is even more widely held among second-generation Hispanics (81%) and even more so by third-generation Hispanics (89%).


A whopping 91% of third-gens said they’re more likely to buy products they see advertised on English-language networks – compared to only 9% who said they were more likely to buy products advertised on Spanish-language networks. The vast majority (79%) of second-gens felt this way too, as did 58% of the first-generation Hispanics.

When it comes to news programs, 85% of third-generation Hispanics said they have “more trust in what is said” on English-language network news shows, while 74% of second-gens, and 58% of first-gens said they feel that way too.

Demonstrating the culture-crossing appeal of American English-language programming, 87% of the third-gens surveyed said they “personally identify better with what is shown” on the English-language networks, as did 68% of second-gens. Only first-generation Hispanics said they identified more with the images they see on Spanish-language networks.

“Overall, all generations trust, connect with, and prefer English-language TV,” the report concluded.

The report also has some bad news for the pay TV industry, especially when it comes to younger Hispanic consumers, a growing number of whom have joined the ranks of “cord-nevers” – those who say they’ll never hook up to cable as long as they can access free media elsewhere.


“Today’s young ‘cord-nevers’ who are satisfied with the abundance of content available online offer a glimpse into the future,” the report said. “Regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity, the intent to subscribe to pay TV decreases with time – yet Hispanic consumers tell us that they’re even less likely than the general population to be pay TV subscribers in the future.”

Those who don’t have cable said that cost is the main reason. “Across the board, regardless of age or ethnicity, prohibitive costs are the primary reason consumers do not subscribe to pay TV,” the report said. “Younger consumers, meanwhile, are satisfied with the abundance of content available elsewhere.”

Movie attendance by Hispanics, however, remains strong. “Hispanic consumers represent one of the fastest growing audiences at movie theaters and a core audience at the box office, outpacing non-Hispanic consumers with seven movies per year versus 6.4,” the report said. “Hispanic women substantially outpace their non-Hispanic counterparts with 6.8 movies versus 5.2. And Hispanic consumers of Mexican origin are more frequent moviegoers than other Hispanic cohorts, averaging 7.3 movies per year versus 6.8, respectively.”

The report also found that Hispanics are more likely than non-Hispanics to see films on their opening weekends, and that Hispanic females are nearly twice as likely to do so as non-Hispanic women.

The report found that 30% of the 500 Hispanics surveyed said that they “very often” go to the movies on opening weekends, compared to 24% of the 500 non-Hispanics surveyed. Of the Hispanic women surveyed, 30% said that they go to opening weekends “very often,” compared to only 17% of non-Hispanic women.

First-generation Hispanics are the most likely of all demographic groups measured to see a movie on its opening weekend. According to the report, 37% of first-gens said they go “very often” to opening weekends.

Nearly half of those surveyed said that they didn’t go to the movies more often because of ticket prices. “I can’t afford it” was the top reason for fewer trips to movie theaters this past year among 48% of Hispanics and 49% of non-Hispanics. Hispanics, however, were significantly less likely to say that they have “less time available for entertainment” than non-Hispanics – 27% to 36%. According to the report, this suggests that “Hispanic consumers overall more heavily prioritize entertainment in their lives.”

The report concluded with this piece of advice: “Across screens, Hispanic consumers prioritize media and entertainment. In response, ensure they are a top priority when developing media plans targeting today’s consumer. We know Hispanic consumers are heavy digital users especially on the smartphone with mobile video. We also know Hispanic consumers are avid moviegoers and are more likely to interact with ads on social media. They are heavily influenced by what they see on television, and are more active with SVOD. In essence, they are media superfans; make sure you treat them as such.”

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