DANIEL TAUB

Staff Reporter

For soccer fans, it's the mother lode of sports channels soccer from Mexico, soccer from Chile, soccer from Italy, soccer from Argentina, soccer from Germany.

And if an actual game doesn't happen to be on, there's always news about soccer or futbol as it's called on Fox Sports World Espa & #324;ol, a sort of ESPN for Latinos.

After several name and ownership changes over the last five years, the Century City-based cable channel was re-launched four months ago as a division of Fox Sports International.

As the nation's only 24-hour, Spanish-language sports network, Fox Sports World Espa & #324;ol offers access to a group that traditionally has been all but ignored as an entertainment audience young Latino men.

The market is normally hard to reach because programming on the nation's two major Spanish-language broadcast networks Century City-based Univision Communications Inc. and Sony Corp.'s Telemundo is heavily skewed toward female viewers, given a programming mix that's heavy on telenovelas (soap operas) and game shows.

The major sports networks, such as Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN and Fox's regional sports cable channels, do not attract a large number of Latino viewers understandable since they broadcast in English and feature basketball, football and baseball rather than soccer.

"It has been hard to target them in the way we could target them in the general market," said Karen Treydte, media director of Torrance-based Conill Advertising, a subsidiary of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide that focuses on the Latino market.

"There's no Monday Night Football," she said of the viewing habits of the Latino market. "There's no Major League Baseball. There's no sports radio. In the Hispanic market, we have had fewer choices for the purely male viewer."

And yet, the purchasing power of Latinos is expected to double in the United States within the next 10 years, to $712 billion.

Dan Casey, vice president and general manager of Fox Sports World Espa & #324;ol, said the network brings its advertisers attractive demographics. Because Fox Sports World Espa & #324;ol is only available in homes with cable or satellite dishes, its viewers are relatively affluent.

"I think what we bring to the table is a very clear male option," he said. "From a media standpoint, it gives (advertisers) an option where you can say, 'OK, I can cover my male demographic. I know I don't have to worry about men because I just bought a sports network.' "

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