Mendelsohn Affluent Survey: Small Networks, Big Spends

Tiny nets like Ovation and Tennis Channel overdeliver to overspenders

The Mendelsohn Affluent survey measures the lifestyles of folks making six figures and upwards, and this year's edition has some surprising information for television buyers: among the 13,000 wealthy Americans surveyed, many of those who spent the most disposable income were watching tiny niche and foreign language networks.

The survey doesn't account for number of households reached or average viewer numbers for the wealthy demographic but the results are counterintuitive. For example, the average annual spend among Ovation viewers on computers and electronics was $6,249. The network ranked first in apparel and accessories, too: a whopping $8,502, putting it 30 percent ahead of Telemundo, which was in second place. 

In fact, an unspoken (for good reason) stigma around Spanish-language television—that its viewers are too poor to command much advertising—was dashed to pieces by the survey, as well. Telemundo ranked first among those with major expenditures on non-car vehicles (motorcycles, boats, aircraft), at an average spend of $14,182; Univision pulled down the top expenditures for cars, with an average of $12,868.

The only unsurprising stats were in the beauty category—Style ranked first, with $1,155—and travel, which went to Bloomberg with $8,653. Mainstays throughout the lists were the two Spanish-language broadcasters, Style, Tennis, and Golf.