One factor in making Telemundo’s strategy is its syndication arrangements, which covers half the cost of production.
While walking through the main studios, Romano, president of Telemundo Media since October 2011, is peppered with stories of success.
Layevksa, the star just arrived from Mexico, tells him journalists there are raving about the network’s telenovelas.
Guilherme Bokel, executive director of Brazil’s Globo network, praises the first episode of Marido de Alquiler, a remake of Brazilian telenovela Fina Estampa. The production partnership with Globo, the largest media group in Latin America by revenues, is considered a coup.
Other smaller players in the Hispanic TV market also bet on Spanish.
“We’re firmly convinced that Spanish language programming is the best way to appeal to U.S. Latinos,’’ says Daniel McCosh, a spokesman for Grupo Salinas, owner of California-based Azteca America.
That is also the view of CNN, which in June announced the expansion of its Spanish-language broadcast network, CNN Latino, to Miami in an effort to create a national Spanish-language network through affiliation agreements with stations in local markets.
“We found that young Hispanics who were raised in the U.S. preferred to be informed in their native tongue or their parent’s native tongue in regards to issues that English media outlets did not touch upon,’’ says Eduardo Suarez, vice president of Programming for CNN en Español.
But the success of Fusion or El Rey could change the landscape, some analysts believe. If Fusion is successful, other players will follow suit, says Exposito. But the transition will take time. “As the saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day,” she adds.