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With the cross-promotional power of NBCUniversal, Telemundo aims to superserve the dynamic Hispanic demographic — viewers who prefer to move between two worlds without having to leave one behind.

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  1. 1. Best of Both Worlds With the crosspromotional power of NBC Universal, Telemundo aims to superserve the dynamic Hispanic demographic — viewers who prefer to move between two worlds without having to leave one behind. By Laura Martínez hen NBC Universal’s marketing whiz, Lauren Zalaznick, took the stage in New york City May 17 at Telemundo’s presentation to advertisers, it was her first appearance at a Hispanic television upfront. As the executive charged with overseeing the Spanish-lan- guage network, Zalaznick thanked the crowd for the warm welcome and said she was thrilled to join NBC Universal’s Hispanic family. The former head of Bravo — now chairman, NBCU Entertainment and Digital Networks and Integrated Media — also took the opportunity to share this objective: “My goal, to really join the family, is to get my clothes tighter and my shoes higher,” she said, setting off a loud round of applause and bursts of laughter among the hundreds of Hispanic media buyers and planners in the audience. Those who know Zalaznick will tell you she is not really the tight-fitting clothes type, and she seems more comfortable wearing flats. But she has wasted no time rolling up her sleeves to better integrate Telemundo — and its cable youth-oriented network, mun2 — within the much larger NBC Universal, which was acquired in January by Comcast. “We are going to be bigger, we are going to superserve our audience and we are going to grow our bottom line — we cannot just wait for the next census to do so,” says Zalaznick, who jumped right into some personal growth since her January promotion, which included taking charge of NBCU’s Hispanic operations. She has been studying Spanish with a tutor, Luis Cardozo, who has another prominent student, New york City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.78 EMMY
  2. 2. The Primetime Emmy campaign for Telemundo’s La reina del sur and star Kate del Castillo marked a© TELEMUNDo turning point in the history of the network. 79
  3. 3. Lauren Zalaznick pany says its family of networks reaches more than 93 percent of the U.S. Hispanic audience across the full media spectrum — including broadcast, cable and digital — regardless of language. “Think about it. We reach Spanish-dominant Hispanics through Tel- emundo; acculturated Hispanics through mun2, but also all those English- dominant Hispanics who are watching NBC, Syfy, oxygen, Bravo, USA, E! and even non-TV properties, including Fandango and iVillage,” Zalaznick said in April, when NBC Universal announced the creation of “Hispanics at NBC,” an integrated sales and marketing division that seeks to help marketers and ad- vertisers connect with U.S. Hispanics across forty-two NBC brands and their online extensions. elemundo not only distributes programming, it’s a major producer as well. In fact, it’s the world’s second- largest producer of Spanish-language programs, behind Mexico’s media giant Grupo Televisa. Telemundo produces more than 1,000 hours of original content each year, selling much of that in international mar- kets. Between 2005 and July 2011, Telemundo Internacional sold more than forty telenovelas — including favorites like Prisionera (Prisoner) and La casa de al lado (The House Next Door) — in more than 135 countries in South and Central America, Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. But in addition to its steamy novelas, which typically run from 120 to 150 episodes, Telemundo also produces a mix of news, sports, variety, enter- ADAM oLSZEWSKI/ NBC UNIVERSAL; JoSEPH MoRAN/TELEMUNDo tainment, reality and music specials. Each year, as it has done for the past thirteen years, it produces the star-studded Premios Billboard a la música latina (The Billboard Latin Music Awards), featuring the hottest Latino acts, from pop singers and reggaetón to hip-hop and Mexican regional acts. This September it will kick off its first Premios Billboard de la música regional elemundo entered the NBC fold in 2002, with the mexicana, devoting an entire awards show to the many subgenres within Peacock paying a reported $2 billion for the nation’s second- Mexican music. largest Spanish-language broadcast network (Univision is the Telemundo’s fierce production machine is the result of an aggressive largest). It has steadily gained traction in recent years, racking strategy that began several years ago when Don Browne, the network’s for- up historic ratings growth, expanding overseas — and online mer president, decided to bet the ranch on original content. Throughout his — and launching mun2, which caters to a dynamic demo- six-year tenure (Browne stepped down in June and at press time the search graphic: bilingual, bicultural U.S.–born Latinos. for his successor continued), he took every opportunity to express the net- For media observers, both Telemundo and mun2 are now work mantra: “When you control your content, you control your destiny.” He better positioned than ever to help Comcast make the most sought to distance Telemundo from Univision, which for decades has im- of its NBCU acquisition, a move meant to transform the Philadelphia-based ported most of its high-rated telenovelas from Grupo Televisa. cable giant from a content distributor to a leading content producer. This focus on original productions paid off hugely this year, when Tel- “Telemundo may currently represent a small unit within the emundo’s 10 p.m. telenovela, La reina del sur (Queen of the South), overall Comcast–NBC Universal corporate structure,” says Julio made ratings history. In May the series — about a young woman Rumbaut, a media advisor based in Miami, “but it may be a (Kate del Castillo) caught up in drug trafficking — averaged 3 bellwether as to Comcast’s ability to unlock value beyond million total viewers and 2 million adults aged eighteen- the initial $30 billion transaction.” to-forty-nine, leading all Spanish-language networks To understand the value, one need only look at in that key demographic. The May 30 finale, which drew the size of the audience Telemundo and mun2 seek to nearly 4.2 million viewers and more than 2.8 million in the serve. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, more than 50 eighteen-to-forty-nine demo, ranks as the network’s million Hispanics live in the U.S.; they represent more highest-rated program. over its sixty-three episodes, than 16 percent of the total population and are the fast- La reina reached an unprecedented 16.6 million unique est-growing minority. viewers. That’s not all. The universe of Hispanic adults aged eight- Jacqueline Hernández La reina also managed to do the unthinkable: it sent een to forty-nine is projected to increase 11.2 percent by 2015, archrival Univision scrambling to counterprogram, extending its according to Nielsen Media Research. In contrast, non-Hispanic adults popular 9 p.m. telenovela to two hours and allowing another novela eighteen to forty-nine are projected to decline by 1.2 percent in this same pe- on Telefutura (one of Univison’s three networks) to run commercial-free or riod. commercial-light for several days. “If you want to grow your business, you are going to have to do Hispanic “La reina was the culmination of an eight-year strategy at Telemundo, media,” says Telemundo’s chief operating officer, Jacqueline Hernández, where the network made a bet on original productions,” explains Joshua a former publisher of People en Español and a respected figure in Hispanic Mintz, Telemundo’s senior executive vice-president of entertainment. media and advertising. Such success also prompted Telemundo executives to launch their first And to “do” Hispanic is an increasing focus of NBC Universal. The com- Primetime Emmy campaign, seeking nominations for La reina as outstand-80 EMMY
  4. 4. ing drama series and for star Kate del Castillo as outstanding lead actress in a drama series. Though neither the series nor the actress were ultimately nominated, the campaign marked a turning point in the network’s history and has become a point of reference for current and future productions. “We have already identified our future Reinas,” Mintz says. What else has Telemundo learned from La reina del sur? • Programs can be more risqué at 10 p.m. • you don’t have to stretch a story to 120 or 150 episodes to make it compelling.DIANE BoNDAREFF/NBC ; GARy I. RoTHSTEIN/TELEMUNDo • Promote your show like crazy across all platforms. • Seek the support of NBCU and its many TV and digital properties to help pitch your show to a wider audience. In keeping with Telemundo strategy, La reina is being broadcast in many other markets, including countries in Central and South America and Europe. In addition to advertising and branded entertainment deals (see sidebar), the network derives a great deal of its revenues from international markets, ei- (Top) Telemundo’s Maria Celeste Arrarás joins Ann Curry, David Gregory and Savannah Guthrie ther through standard content broadcast deals or through the direct sale of on NBC’s Today; Marc Anthony performs at the 2011 Latin Billboard Awards. its original productions. In 2008 the network signed a ten-year agreement with Grupo Televisa to distribute Telemundo content across multiple platforms. The deal includes broadcast TV, pay TV and digital platforms and currently has Grupo Televisa’s Channel 9 in Mexico broadcasting more than 1,000 hours of Telemundo content. The agreement also created a Telemundo cable channel with some 4 million subscribers in eighteen Latin American countries, including the largest, Mexico. n New York City on a recent morning, Telemundo’s María Celeste Arrarás, host of the daily news and variety show Al rojo vivo, dropped in to cohost NBC’s Today. And while Arrarás had done this many times before, something was different this time. When the program cut to a commercial, viewers could watch a thirty-second spot — in English — for Arrarás’s afternoon show on Telemundo, which is broadcast in Spanish. Awards special as part of its weekly music-variety show, 18 & Over. The pitch for Al rojo vivo on NBC, Jacqueline Hernández points out, “our CEo [Stephen B. Burke, chief executive officer of NBC Universal] is but a small example of how NBC and Telemundo crosspromote each calls this not a synergy, but a symphony,” says Hernández of the crosspro- other’s programming. Telemundo and mun2, for example, will work hard motional efforts. “A symphony is when you are playing together to create the to promote the 2012 olympic Games, which will air on NBC. For its part, NBC best possible music.” has helped promote the Latin Billboard Awards across its networks, featuring For Hernández, a bilingual Latina who moves easily between English artists that are likely more appealing — and better known — to an English- and Spanish — and between life as an American and a Latin American — the speaking audience. power of Telemundo and mun2 within the NBCU family lies in the strength of NBC’s September 16 broadcast of the ALMA Awards is another crosspro- two worlds — and an increasingly diverse population that wants to see itself motional opportunity. The event honors Latinos in television, film and mu- reflected in television, regardless of the language spoken. sic and this year features hosts Eva Longoria and George Lopez. Both Tel- “We are not only crossing over,” Hernández says. “We’re criss-cross- emundo and mun2 were expected to heavily promote the program across ing.” “We’ve crossed over [to the general market] but we keep coming back.” their properties, with Telemundo News running highlights from the event And encouraging this behavior, as NBC knows, makes good business and serving as the official awards website. Meanwhile, mun2 sense. “We want to be in both worlds,” Hernández says, “simply because it was expected to rebroadcast the show and also produce a two-hour ALMA drives growth.” A Brand Plan WhiLe the NightLY dramas oN the adventures of “a young girl caught starred Jennifer Lopez. launched a bilin- teLemUNdo miNe stories of between two irresistible forces: love Details of the novela were sketchy gual novela app Love aNd Loss, the NetWork and chocolate.” After that agreement at press time, but Hernández says five for the iPhone has strUCk goLd BY iNtegratiNg came a series of multimillion-dollar advertisers have signed on to integrate and iPad, with aLL sorts of BraNds iNto their integrations involving top U.S. brands their products: Chrysler, Sears, Verizon, L’Oréal as the storYLiNes, from aUtos aNd like Verizon, L’Oréal, Ford, Toyota and L’Oréal and Clorox. The practice, she sponsor. It also smartphoNes to makeUp aNd Subway. stresses, will not be mere product helped broker a CLeaNiNg prodUCts. According to Telemundo COO placement, but “branded entertain- partnership between Cuban-American In one of its first comprehensive Jacqueline Hernández, marketers are ment,” in which brands are merged telenovela star Jencarlos Canela and deals, Telemundo partnered with lining up for Una Maid in Manhat- into the storylines. “This has to feel Post Foods’ Honey Bunches of Oats for Clorox in 2007 for Dame chocolate tan, a new coproduction with Sony natural,” she adds, “and never interrupt a fully integrated Hispanic market- (Give Me Chocolate), a telenovela that, Pictures based on the 2002 romantic your viewing experience.” ing campaign across all Telemundo as the network described it, followed comedy Maid in Manhattan, which Earlier this year Telemundo Digital properties. —L.M. 81