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What Do Latinas Want? Good Question

10/24/2008 8:00 PM Eastern

Hispanic women make the final purchasing decisions in the household, but television content that is relevant to their lifestyle is hard to find in today's media mix.

That was the feeling shared by a group of programmers, carriers and content producers who tackled the question “What Women Want to See on TV” at the Broadcasting & Cable/Multichannel News Hispanic Television Summit.

“I want to see content that speaks to me, a Latina living in the U.S., not something that is imported from Latin America,” said Cristina Mella, editor in chief of Casa y Hogar magazine.

But Emiliano Saccone, senior vice president at Fox Latin American Channels, whose properties include the women-targeted Utilisima, refuted the point.

“A young mother in Chile faces very similar problems to a young mother in the U.S.” he said. “In addition, we have to be realistic here. Producing content in the U.S., compared to Latin America, is a very expensive proposition.”

While MTV Tr3s vice president of programming and production Lili Neumeyer said there are now many options for English- and Spanish-dominant Latinas, Comcast director of content acquisitions Radame Rodriguez believes there isn't enough out there.

“We just launched 16 Hispanic channels in Houston,” said Rodriguez, “and we want to add more, but there are really not many women-specific channels to choose from.”

The panel was moderated by Jenny Alonzo, executive vice president of marketing and communications at Mio.TV, an online media channel set to launch Dec. 2. Alonzo, a former Lifetime executive, asked the panelists: “Why aren't there any Lifetime, WE or Oxygen channels in the Hispanic market?” None of the panelists could venture a specific answer, other than to say that the economics and financial side of the business model played a crucial role.

September