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Univision's Lawenda Pitches 18-49 Demo

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Univision CEO Joe Uva and sales and marketing president David Lawenda spent the first half hour of the Univision upfront presentation today (May 14) offering a compelling sales pitch to media buyers and advertisers as to why they should be moving a portion of their ad dollars into Univision's Hispanic networks for the 2008-09 season.

Lawenda said in the depressed economy, advertisers across every category are being challenged, but told the audience that this is the perfect situation to begin moving money out of the English language networks, which have continued to raise ad prices as audiences decline. He said over the past few years, viewer levels for English-lanaguage networks have declined by 28 percent, while cost-per-thousand pricing has increased 36 percent.

Lawenda told the audience that Univision's 18-49 demo offers a 60 percent unduplicated audience, where viewers are not exposed to an advertisers message anywhere else, compared to 6 percent for NBC, 7 percent for CBS, and 8 percent for ABC.

And he told the audience that on over 50 nights this season, Univision was the No. 1 network on assorted nights, beating all the English-language broadcast networks in the 18-34 demo.

He urged advertisers and their media agencies to reallocate a small portion of their English-lanaguage TV ad budgets to"a hybrid plan."

And Uva told advertisers to "cross the divide and connect to the tidal wave" of Hispanic television.

To add impact, as part of the presentation, four marketing executives for major advertisers touted the benefits of advertising on Univision and Spanish-language television.

David Rodriguez, vp of multicultural marketing for Ford, Randy Ransom, CMO of Miller Brewing Co., Wendy Clarke, senior vp of advertising for AT&T, and Brent Dewar, vp of General Motors North America, all delivered brief taped testimonials of the power of Hispanic TV.

Continuing on the sales pitch, the audience was told about a broad range of product integration opportunities advertisers could do for programming in the coming season.

Univision's signature Saturday night variety/game show, Sabado Gigante is undergoing a major renovation with plans to bring a faster pace and a more modern, high tech look. And, the show will also offer more product integration opportunities than its current large number. It will be renamed El Nuevo Sabado Gigante (The New Giant Saturday).

Univision will also expand its Nuestra Belleza Latina (Our Latin Beauty) beauty competition show on Sunday nights from one to two hours, in order to increase viewership on the night and to offer advertisers more product integration opportunities.

Univision will also add a reality show to its lineup, Viva el Sueno! (Live the Dream), a 13-week singing competition that will feature struggling Hispanic professional performers, and will also offer product integration opportunities.

And in the sports area, the network will air El Juego Supremo (The Ultimate Match), a show where five soccer legends from Mexico and five from the U.S. and Latin America will coach two amateur soccer teams. Payers on the teams will  will be eliminated until only five players remain.

Those players will then play the best of the legends in a televised game. This is another show that will offer product integration opportunities for advertisers.

Ray Rodriguez, president and COO of Univision, said product integration opportunities will also be offered in Univision's news programming, promising that it will be tastefully done and will not infringe on the integrity of the news. He pointed out that the median age of Univision news viewers is 40, compared to 61 for the English-language broadcast networks.

Univision will add one new daytime novela, Valeria, about a couple trying to keep their love alive.

In prime time, Univision will offer several new novelas from Televisa. They include: Las Tontas No Van al Cielo (Dumb Girls Don't Go to Heaven), a look at how love can make people do foolish things; Tormenta en el Paraiso (Storm over Paradise), a novela that will raise awareness about green issues and is a love story about two people who struggle to break an age old Mayan curse; Querida Enemiga (My Dearest Enemy), a tale of betrayal among young lovers; and Alma de Hierro (Soul of Steel), the story of an unconventional family who must learn to live together.