NBCUniversal has created a division for Spanish-language sports coverage to serve as the production unit and content provider for Telemundo and NBC Universo, a cable channel launched in February to show the Super Bowl. The division, NBC Deportes ("sports" in Spanish), includes digital platforms, such as applications and a new website.
NBC knows the value of the Latino soccer fan base. Rival Univision demonstrated that some games broadcast in Spanish could outperform ones shown in English. That network raked in 80.9 million viewers in the 2014 World Cup. This venture will create 1,000 hours of sports content for the rest of this year alone. It is the space to watch the World Cup, Premier League, NASCAR, and the Olympics in Spanish.
Next America spoke with Eli Velazquez, the executive vice president of NBC Deportes, about the job ahead of him and what sports means for U.S. Latinos. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
NBC executives have said in interviews that "Hispanic America" is the new mainstream. What does that mean?
If you look at population growth in this country, it is clear that Hispanics have taken on a much more significant impact, not just in population numbers, but also in spending power and in consumption patterns. They seem to be early adapters to new technologies. They also crave the experience that this country provides to all of us. Being a nation of immigrants, the Hispanic component of that is just now taking on more importance because of the increase in the numbers I highlighted.