By: Casandra Kate Escobar
Ever wonder what gets a major network to say “Si” to the programs that air? On February 18, 2011 executives from Televisa, Vme, Univision, and MTV Tr3 shared their perspective during the Kidscreen Summit 2011 panel, “Just Say Si: Exploring the US Hispanic Market.”
Moderated by Maca Rotter, Executive Director at Televisa Consumer Products, Maca shared with the audience the astonishing fact that the Hispanic population will triple by 2050. The statistic was made real when Guillermo Sierra, SVP and Chief Content Officer at Vme Media, shared that 1 out of every 4 children in the U.S. are of Hispanic origin. Vme dedicates 6 hours, 6 days a week to pre-school programming.
So what are the critical keys to sell kid content in the U.S. to major network content buyers? To start, understanding the culture and cultural shifts are critical. Jose Tillan, General Manager and EVP at MTV Tr3 shared the term “retro culturation” where our Latino culture is shifting back to embracing speaking Spanish as “being cool.” Sandra Smester, Director of Programming at Univision Networks, shared that the key is not to copy but to adopt format. Fernando Perez Gavilan, SVP at Televisa International and Televisa Cina, brought the point home when he shared that all messages are universal. “If a program works in a specific language it will work in all other languages, all people identify with story,“ Fernando expressed.
So where do the opportunities exist for a Latino to drive the content of television over the coming decades? As a content creator, how do we get to “see the money?” The conversations, once the content has been developed and perfected – not an easy mountain to climb- gathers around the financing of the project and ultimately the sell. Areas for a perspective to explore include soliciting investors, the pre-sell, franchising and non-franchising. Though budget cuts have affected kids media as well, many executives will roar that good content is always acquired and the competition not as stiff as once upon a time.
All remarks point to the duality of Hispanics in the U.S. In the general public, we are American seizing the “dream” but at home we are Hispanic, embracing all of our cultural heritage. Marketing and research forces alike are seeking ways to understand, speak and grab onto our spending dollar. There is a tipping point about to take place and I am curious to see how media will respond and adjust, or not? Who will lead the movement?
Kidscreen, a business publication serving the information needs and interests of the kids entertainment industry catering to executives in the industry; and Kidscreen Summit are produced and published by Brunico Communications, Ltd. Read further http://kidscreen.com/.