The network — which annually shows 2,500 hours a year of live sports programming and a Spanish-language version of ESPN's signature program, SportsCenter — will also sell its own commercials for the game. Ford, BMW, Samsung, McDonald's and Coors are among the 29 brands to sign on. ESPN said advertising time on the game between the
Although ESPN carries the
ESPN is making the most of the opportunity by promoting the game across all of its English-speaking channels with the hope of topping the 1.9 million viewers who watched the Spanish language telecast last year. ESPN Deportes reaches 6.1 million cable and satellite connected homes classified as Hispanic by Nielsen.
Freddy Rolon, vice president of programming & business initiatives at ESPN Deportes, believes that a dedicated Spanish-language version of the game's telecast — supported by coverage on the channel throughout the week — will attract Latino fans who want to be immersed in the game, an experience they don't get with the call heard on the second audio program [SAP] that accompanies NFL telecasts.
"I can tell you I have family members who watch Spanish language television and they don't know where that SAP button is to begin with," he said. "It's not a good solution."
Rolon said a dedicated Spanish-language broadcast will expand the Super Bowl audience instead of cannibalizing the audience of the CBS telecast, which is expected to top 110 million viewers based on the ratings of recent years.
Jose Villa, president of Los Angeles-based ad agency Sensis, said a Spanish-language Super Bowl production can serve as a gateway to American football for immigrants who may not be familiar with the game but want to be a part of the festive atmosphere on Sunday.
"It's a smart move," Villa said. "The Super Bowl is almost like a holiday in this country and being able to participate in it is a perfect alignment in a lot of Hispanic values. Our research shows that many households in the Hispanic market have larger families that tend to watch TV together. It's a perfect fit."
But Villa said it's challenging for any Spanish-language broadcaster to completely replicate the Super Bowl experience without the big-budget commercials that are a part of the spectacle.
"In the Hispanic market you don't have that same level of investment even for the largest brands," said Villa, adding that advertisers who target Latino consumers tend to use the World Cup soccer tournament to unveil their flashiest ads.