Stacey Vanek Smith: ABC and Univision are teaming up to create a new 24-hour cable channel. Univision is dominant in Spanish-language TV. But this new channel will be in English with a Latino focus.
Mitchell Hartman reports.
Man speaking in Spanish
Mitchell Hartman: My Spanish is kind of rusty, so you're better off with me not trying to translate. But a version of this marketed to Latinos who speak English will be available for channel surfing soon. The new cable channel and accompanying website will offer a combination of hard news and lifestyle programming.
Mark Lopez of the Pew Hispanic Center has done a new survey.
Mark Lopez: What we found is that among Hispanics, 38 percent are Spanish-dominant, another 38 percent are bilingual, about a quarter are English-dominant.
Add it up, and more than half of Hispanics are comfortable conducting their lives -- presumably also their TV watching -- in English. And, the demographic is only growing. Half of all Hispanics are U.S.-born. And more of the population growth is coming from second- and third-generation Hispanics.
Blaire Borthayre: This is an unproven market.
Blaire Borthayre runs a marketing firm to help businesses reach Hispanic consumers. She's second-generation Mexican-American, and says among people like herself...
Borthayre: You don't see a big interest necessarily in just Hispanic issues. You see in terms of food, yes, they eat with their families. Music, there's some crossover there.
She recently did a focus group about book-buying habits with a group of 20-something U.S.-born Latinos.
Borthayre: They talk like any other 23 year olds -- elationships, action, mystery. It wasn't with a Hispanic hero or with Hispanic music.
The new cable channel launches early next year.
I'm Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.
“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VABEFORE YOU GO