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Univision Falls Apart While Telemundo Rises
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Univision Falls Apart While Telemundo Rises

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A reflection of two groupings of hispanics in the USA.

The viewers that follow both platforms are of different social and economic groups, which provides a glimpse regarding the electoral results in Florida.

The USA has two grand old dames in the hispanic network TV market; Univision and Telemundo who both are based in Miami.

Quick fact check;

Univision: Founded in 1955 in San Antonio, Texas, previously called Spanish International Network (SIN), this was then the first TV network in the USA to broadcast in a language other than english.  Texas’s loss was Florida’s gain.

Univision was originally very inclusive regarding all hispanics, they frowned upon regionalisms, implementing a neutrally accented Spanish format that would be accepted by all of the latino market.  This gave way to hispanics from all corners finding themselves under its diversity accepting umbrella.

Key alliances were shrewdly executed with Venevisión (Venezuela) and Televisa (Mexico).

Thereafter being rated fourth after CBS, ABC, et al in the USA.

The collapse of Univision.

As of 2006, a decision was made to focus almost exclusively on the Mexican American Market and Mexican talent.  This naturally led to a purge of other talent that was considered marginal and markets deemed peripheral or inferior.  Those purged were famed Charitin Goico, Carlos Alfredo, Cristina Saralegui, Nancy Alvarez and Don Francisco, all near legends among latino TV audiences. The elimination of this impressive line-up was followed unsurprisingly by a fall in sponsors and sadly mass layoffs.

The rise of Telemundo

Telemundo: This network was established in March 28,1954 in Puerto Rico.  The company then grows and further expands in 1985 to mainland USA.

The network decides to focus on the more diverse constellation of smaller markets made up of Cubans, Dominicans, Venezuelans, Central Americans, Colombians and everyone else.  Once the competition became to Mexican heavy, as already mentioned, huge talents such as Cristina Saralegui and Don Francisco hop onboard and are then recycled with new projects where they continue as the main celebrities.

Novelas, Latin American soap operas are then produced in almost exclusively in the USA, bringing in an array of super stars hailing from all points in the southern hemisphere.

The coup de grace in Telemundo’s obvious rise to power was a strategic partnership with already Univision aligned Televisa to provide content and talent from Mexico, this move involved Telemundo snatching it away from its erstwhile rival.  Now Telemundo is the main Spanish language network and fourth in audiences in the USA.  A powerful sign regarding its growing strength was the opening of a fancy new headquarters in western Miami-Dade County.

Why the fall of one and rise of another.

The purchase of one broadcaster by mainly exclusively WASP capital, who based on the statistics, just don’t get or understand hispanic/latino idiosyncrasies caused the network to lose touch.  These groups overlooked that our so-called massive “minorities” are deeply divided in two huge cultural and economic segments, with widely divergent interests and views that sometimes can even turn antagonistic.  Many even being pro-Trump.

Mexico and everyone else.

Mexicans Americans are 35 million, “The rest” all put together are 20 million.  Univision refocused its marketing strategy based on that premise, they thought they couldn’t lose.  They plowed ahead without taking into account, “everyone else," this so-called minority that has mostly bigger incomes and higher education, are also possibly more in sync with mainstream America be it WASP or Afro-Americans yet feel slightly less an affinity with the Mexican American.

Deciphering the code regarding Univision’s collapse is simply as a result of it playing favorites with the Mexican American market, which does not coincide with the new owners who are from mainstream America.  Advertisers who are a whimsical bunch, will take a gander and if the numbers aren’t there, neither will they. 

In an ironic twist,Trump has done the opposite. The POTUS, focused his America First ideology on “everyone else” and didn’t solely focus on the Mexican American “market” of voters.  He talked about a wall, which “everyone else” understood it to mean Mexicans and won victory.  The differences while slight in some instances are very real.  As further proof of this the Washington Times recently reported that;

President Trump hosted a meeting at the White House on Friday with Hispanic pastors from around the nation who are attuned to the realities of illegal immigration in their cities. They clearly supported Mr. Trump’s proposals on the issue. The representative clergy in attendance, in fact, brought a letter signed by 150 Hispanic evangelical leaders thanking the president for his leadership.

We don’t want open borders,” Guillermo Maldonado, pastor of King Jesus Ministry in Miami, told the president.

Trumps tactics might just work once more in 2020 since the differences explained similar to Telenovelas, aren’t going away any time soon.

Author: Manuel Miranda