Telemundo’s Upfront Pitch: We’re Much More Than Just a ‘Demographic Story’

Network touts authentic connection to Hispanic consumers

NBCU execs Laura Molen and Cesar Conde are spearheading Telemundo's upfront push. Telemundo
Headshot of Sara Jerde

With coverage that will range from the FIFA Women’s World Cup to co-hosting the first Democratic presidential primary debate, Telemundo has a busy year ahead. Executives are going into the 2019 upfront touting the network’s ties to a Hispanic community that is increasingly at the center of cultural change, with a growing spending power to boot.

“This is no longer just the demographic story,” said Cesar Conde, chairman of NBCUniversal International Group and NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, noting there are more than 50 million Hispanics living in the U.S. “This has gone beyond numbers. This is now really, a market, a community that’s having social, cultural, political and most importantly, economic impact here in the United States.”

With hit shows this year like La Reina del Sur, whose premiere episode ranked No. 1 in its time slot among adults age 18-49 (averaging 1.26 million viewers in the demo), and partnerships with other publishers and platforms that include BuzzFeed, Vox and Snapchat, there are many opportunities for buyers to connect with consumers, Conde said.

Telemundo has helped some corporations navigate how to authentically reach these Hispanic viewers and effectively market to them.

“We’ve seen a tremendous increase in the interest and in the hunger from corporations to understand this demographic. I think most or most entities have realized that this is a growth opportunity,” Conde said.

Telemundo, and NBCUniversal as part of the larger portfolio, have created plenty of opportunities this year to target marketers.

Telemundo has Spanish-language U.S. rights to the FIFA World Cup through 2026 and the Olympic Games through 2032. The network has beefed up its team covering celebrities and entertainment and it will co-host the Democratic primary debate held in Miami, home to its U.S. headquarters.

“They’re helping to shape our country and marketers know that they are heavy influencers in purchase intent,” said Laura Molen, president, advertising sales and partnerships, NBCUniversal. “And we’re talking to some marketers about how we organically weave them into this unbelievable thing that truly is iconic in that it’s an election where Hispanics are going to help make such a difference in this decision.”

As viewers move more into OTT (and NBCUniversal itself launches its own ad-supported streaming service next year), Molen said the company will prioritize meeting audiences “wherever they are.”

Telemundo will tout all of this at its upfront press briefing on May 9. It will also participate as part of the larger NBCUniversal upfront presentation on May 13, which will be followed by a late-night celebration of the coming year, featuring Pitbull as the performing artist.

Telemundo will tease returning scripted franchises, short and longform series that run 10 to 15 episodes, daytime programming, new partnerships with platforms (like its English-language news program with YouTube) and family-friendly reality shows.

“It’s really an unbelievable time. If marketers haven’t jumped on board with Telemundo, we’re here to help them do it and make money,” Molen said.

@SaraJerde Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.