ESPN Deportes Says Live Sports Coverage Is the Key to Reaching Hispanics

And it benefits advertisers, too

Hispanics love sports and watch them live. That is the takeaway from ESPN Deportes' annual upfront presentation on the 44th floor of the famed Hearst Tower in New York City this morning.

Ed Erhardt, ESPN president of global marketing and sales, kicked things off by mentioning that 98 percent of all ESPN Deportes viewing is done live so "you know people are watching the advertising."

A day ago at the ESPN upfront, Erhardt said, "Impressions are the currency of our industry." Well, today he elaborated.

"When we think about an impression and what it means, we're also trying to think about 'how do we make the business a little less complicated?' So we can spend more time on creating great advertising and marketing ideas that will drive your business," Erhardt said. "We spend a lot of time arguing about the currency, as opposed to thinking about it from an impression-based point of view."

John Fitzgerald, vp of multimedia ad sales, explained that 87 percent of U.S. Hispanics are sports fans, a statistic that comes from a 2014 poll conducted by the network. And sports fans are passionate about live events, something ESPN Deportes offers a lot of.

The network airs more live events than any other Spanish-language sports network, beating its closest competitor by 18 percent last year. ESPN Deportes looks to increase that margin in 2016 with a lineup including MLB, Monday Night Football, NFL Wildcard, NBA Finals, College Football Playoff, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Europa League, La Liga's Copa del Rey Final and Supercopa, European FIFA World Cup qualifying matches and the 2016 UEFA European Championship.

"We serve it, our fans and your consumers consume it—at that moment," Fitzgerald said. He added that technology makes sports a better investment for advertisers because fans can watch live events anywhere. The company's streaming app, Watch ESPN, has grown more than 400 percent in the past year, while the audio streaming app has grown 72 percent.

Spanish soccer star David Villa and on-air talent Hugo Sanchez, Alejandro Moreno, Toni Collins, Alfredo Lomeli and Ernesto Jerez took the stage to discuss various programs.

The network also introduced Quick Hits, a new short-form video collection curated by fan favorites. The digital videos promise to give brands opportunities to connect with fans through integrated content. The first five Quick Hits series are:

  • SportsCenter Ahora: Highlights of the most important plays of the day.
  • Pitazo Final: Soccer analysis from ESPN Deportes' experts.
  • ESPiaNdo: A roundup of the day in American sports.
  • Instaviral: Highlighting trends in the sports world.
  • One Nacion: Toni Collins and Alfredo Lomeli explore the latest hot button topics relevant to the bicultural, bilingual audience. It will be presented in a mix of both languages.

ESPN Deportes said it will soon launch on Sling TV as part of the "Deportes Extra" add-on package. And a new state-of-the art studio in Mexico City will be ready by the end of 2015.