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Satellite

DirecTV: No 'Más' for Hispanic Brand

2/17/2012 11:26 AM Eastern

Satellite-TV provider DirecTV has decided to phase out its
DirecTV Más brand and instead go back to pitching its Hispanic-targeted
products under its primary moniker.

The company has also stopped publishing its Más magazine, which was produced by a
Los Angeles-based content marketing firm and had a controlled quarterly
circulation of 900,000.

DirecTV

A new 30-second spot running on major Spanish-language TV
networks asks Hispanics to ditch their cable connection and "switch to
DirecTV," a departure from a long-running campaign featuring Latino celebrities
pitching the DirecTV Más brand.

"Research showed us
consumers really looked at the business as DirecTV," Jon Gieselman, senior
vice president of marketing at DirecTV, aaid. "[Más] was perceived as a
separate product, but it is really not."

According to DirecTV, the new strategy is to mirror what the
company does in the general market, which also meant consolidating its creative
work with New York-based ad agency WING, which also handles creative duties for
Latin America.

While DirecTV insists the dropping of "Más" was merely a
marketing strategy, sources told Hispanic
TV Update
that several executives that used to work with the DirecTV Más
product have been let go, including Carolina Padilla, who served as senior director,
DirecTV Más & WorldDirect.

"People come and go, but our Hispanic business is still in
place," Gieselman said.

While the company would not disclose how many of its 20
million subscribers take its Spanish/English packages, sources said there has
been an increase in overall churn.

At the same time, rival satellite provider Dish Network has
stepped up its Hispanic-marketing efforts, recently
striking a multiyear distribution pact for Univision's three new cable channels
.

DirecTV currently
offers four English-Spanish combination packages, which start at $22.99 per
month for 45 channels in Spanish and 60 in English. Its most comprehensive
package,  Lo Máximo , offers more than 70 Spanish-language channels and 226
English-language networks for $94.99.

A bright spot for DirecTV is in Latin America, where the
company has been growing steadily to almost 11 million subscribers in 2011,
compared to 5 million in 2008.

In a recent statement, the company credited the subscriber
growth to the region's "rapidly growing consumer class."

September