P&G's Big Broadband Buy: Telenovelas

Exclusive Sponsorship Deal Places Spots in Telemundo Digital Video

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Procter & Gamble is the exclusive sponsor of the full-length telenovelas Spanish-language network Telemundo will start streaming this week on its Yahoo Telemundo site.
The streaming novelas will be promoted on the front page of the Yahoo Telemundo site and on Telemundo TV programs.
The streaming novelas will be promoted on the front page of the Yahoo Telemundo site and on Telemundo TV programs.

In an informal first Hispanic broadband upfront, P&G's Hispanic media agency, Tapestry, sought proposals from the major Hispanic sites with video content.

"We approached the marketplace and said, 'We've got a bunch of dollars and want to focus only on broadband,'" said Marla Skiko, VP-director of digital innovation at Publicis Groupe-owned Tapestry, Chicago.

After sifting through half a dozen proposals, Tapestry and P&G picked Yahoo Telemundo and its plan to start streaming novelas and other Telemundo programming on its website the day after they are broadcast.

Broadband-advertising leader
Peter Blacker, Telemundo's senior VP-digital media, said he has been after P&G, a broadband-advertising leader in the general market, to spend money on Hispanic digital.

"More than 80% of Hispanics have access to broadband," he said. "Novelas were an immediate fit, but on the tech side, we weren't capable of putting up full-length novelas. Now our product-development cycle has coincided with their marketing needs."

P&G will be the exclusive sponsor for the first six months, using a range of brands from Crest to Gillette. Novelas are the lead part of the buy, but it will also include other programming such as music, movies, news and sports, Ms. Skiko said. P&G will use pre-roll video before each hourlong novela episode and brief commercials between segments.

Repurposing TV spots
"We would love to create original content for the web," Ms. Skiko said. "[For now] we'll probably use shorter format, 15-second TV spots. I hope this is just the first time and we can continue to grow this as we do in the general market." She said the buy is priced "on a [cost-per-thousand] basis, very similar to the way we evaluate TV."

Mr. Blacker said the streaming novelas will be promoted on the front page of the Yahoo Telemundo site and on Telemundo TV programs. He said there also will be text and e-mail messaging. The Club de Novelas, which has several thousand members, would be a likely group to target, he said.

Although Telemundo parent NBC streams all its programs except game shows, most are once-a-week shows. Telenovelas, which fill most of prime time five evenings a week on Telemundo, are new territory for streaming video. Mr. Blacker said additional content also is being created, since Telemundo films most of its own novelas rather than importing them from Mexico.

"We built up our digital-video team, and they go where the novelas are filmed to get extra content," Mr. Blacker said. "They get the cast to do everything from karaoke to sharing things about their lives. I think as we develop different digital programs, we'll get talent to do made-for-web shows."

Second only to NBC
He said Yahoo Telemundo streams more than 8 million videos a month, the second-highest total in the NBC Universal family of channels and second only to NBC. "That was a motivating factor for P&G."

Rival Univision Communications launched a Spanish-language-video portal in October and reported in its third-quarter financial results that even before that launch, video streaming on the site was up 279% in the second quarter compared with the same period a year earlier.

Although its four nightly novelas garner higher ratings that those on Telemundo, Univision doesn't have the same flexibility to stream episodes and add new content. Univision imports its ratings-topping novelas from Mexico's Grupo Televisa, and the two Spanish-language-media giants are locked in a legal battle over who gets the U.S. digital rights to programming created by Televisa and aired in the U.S. by Univision. Digital rights were an unknown concept when the two groups years ago forged a long-term programming agreement that stretches to 2017.
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