Spanish Language TV - weird story
This is really odd...
We have a medium-size TV commercial client, a fairly big community college. We do some medium-budget fairly decent commercials for them maybe once or twice a year.
We got a call from their people a month or so ago, they wanted to take the last campaign that we did for them (three different spots), and create Spanish language versions of them. They wanted to do a buy with various cable systems, insertions into the Spanish language channels (Univision, Telemundo, and about four or five others).
So we did that, at not insignificant expense... we translated the scripts, hired three different really great voice actors (turns our three talents were from L.A., Ecuador, and Colombia... ain't the world wide interweb amazing?), and re-produced the spots.
The client didn't want us to do uploads right away... they hadn't made a media buy yet, and would get back to us.
They got back to us. No uploads.
There are quite a few cable systems in our market. There's Knology, Charter, Viamedia, Comcast (or as they would say on 30 Rock "Kabletown"), and several others. Turns out NONE of them allow, accept, or can accommodate commercial insertions into ANY of the Spanish channels.
We thought that was so odd that our GM himself called a couple systems (including a buddy who works at one) to confirm that. Other than pay channels, obviously (HBO, SHO etc), they can do insertions into any and all channels... EXCEPT the Spanish ones.
CNN? Sure. Comedy Central? Of course. Game Show network? Yes. ESPN 8 "The Ocho"? Right this way. Aunt Marge's All Couponing Network? No problem. Telemundo? Ummm...no, sorry.
That's something the client should have probably checked on before ordering the production.
Is it that way everywhere?
On the upside, at least the client paid their production bill.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
I just checked a 2011 report at Zonewire, and this jumped out at me:
Spanish-language networks are making inroads in the local cable ad market, with Galavision available for local insertion in nine of the top 10 TV markets, Mun2 available in five, ESPN Deportes in four, and CNN en Espanol, Fox Sports en Espanol and MTV Tr3s available in three.
Since I'm not taking the SAT I'm not going to try and figure out how many of the top 10 markets take no insertions on any Spanish-language networks, but it sounds like this is a real thing.
Conspicuous by its absence is Univision, the highest-rated Spanish-language network in the world. (Like Galavision, it's based in Miami, and owned by Univision Inc.) Telemundo is #2, and also based in the US. It's owned by NBC, so presumably Comcast has its fingers in there somewhere...but the only Telemundo network available for local insertion is the one directed at young audiences.
Making me wonder if this is a call being made at the top level of these networks, rather than the cable companies, or certainly local operators, who it seems would be only too happy to take local money. Or...what? And why is this even describable as a phenomenon?
Pretty interesting report, btw. I haven't found the 2012 update because frankly, I got tired of wading through the Google results for "insertion."
Vice President, Editor-in-Chief
That's wild, Tim... thanks for looking that up (I was apparently too lazy to do so).
It's just funny, after a couple of decades in the business I've never found anyone in broadcasting who wouldn't take your money. Or figure out a way to do so.
[Tim Wilson] "I got tired of wading through the Google results for "insertion.""
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
[Todd Terry] "after a couple of decades in the business I've never found anyone in broadcasting who wouldn't take your money."
I was kicking around in my head the idea that Univision and Telemundo wouldn't want their off-hours littered with the famous, free ROS ads lamented so often in this forum, especially if they're in English. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Networks should be able to protect their identities, and if yours has to do with the language spoken on it, sure, go for it.
(I have no idea if this is the case, but I could imagine some religious networks turning down the chance to insert, say, ads for bars.)
And maybe rather than get into a fight over the KIND of insertions they'd accept, and have to review a bunch of local ads, they just say no to the whole idea....
...but then why allow them on Mun2 or Galavision? Is it an experiment whose positive outcome might eventually lead to insertions on the main networks?
I contacted one of my media buyers and he tells me he's purchased time in PA markets and doing it currently. He didn't specify, but we have multiple Comcast regions, Time Warner & one other.
Todd....A few years ago I did a small video production for a large seller of children's products. It was to be included in their products as a bonus. We were told to do English and French versions.
When we turned in the English version everything was great.....when we turned in the French version everything hit the fan. It seems as though our version of French was the "book" version of the language whereas they would only accept a "street" version of the language which was in line with their previous experiences. Now I do not know if this type of thing happems with Spanish as well but it does give me pause to think that maybe this is a problem you may be dealing with as well. Just a thought......