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Spanish or English? The dilemma of the booming Hispanic TV market

In the western reaches of Miami-Dade County, the two powerhouses of American Hispanic TV have been working at full swing since dawn.

At the Univision studios in Doral, the five hosts of Despierta América (Wake Up America ) are throwing their daily four-hour party. The show kicks off at 7 a.m., defying drowsiness with raucous skits, musical performances and celebrity guests. The format is increasingly popular; the show’s audience — almost 900,000 viewers — grew 22 percent from last season to the current one, according to ratings company Nielsen.

This studio is also home to two other live Univision blockbusters. In the evenings, veteran variety show El Gordo y la Flaca (The Fat Guy and The Skinny Lady) plays to an average of 1.4 million viewers. Sábado Gigante (Giant Saturday), the longest-running TV show in any language dating from 1962 —is followed by 2.2 million people.

Three miles away, at the Hialeah studios of Telemundo, telenovelas are the stars. Dozens of extras wait in line to take part in a restaurant scene for Marido en Alquiler (Husband for Hire), READ MORE

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