Telemundo chief Emilio Romano spent part of a NATPE appearance touting Comcast’s commitment to the Spanish-language broadcaster, partly by recounting a meeting with NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke.
Romano said Burke told him: “I’m convinced we have a diamond in the rough, and together we’ll make it shine.”
One sign of how optimistic Burke is could come on Feb. 5 when NBC airs the Super Bowl. Will NBCU use one of its promo spots to plug Telemundo? Romano is hopeful.
Comcast has invested heavily to grab rights to the World Cup away from Univision after 2014.
“They’re risk takers,” Romano said at the industry event. “They know how to invest, and they know how to build a world class media company.”
As far as closing the gap with Univision, Romano took a tongue-in-cheek jab at the frisson about the competitor’s announcement that it will offer English closed captioning with its novelas, which Telemundo has been doing for more than a decade.
Also this week, Fox and Colombian media company RCN said they would partner on a Spanish-language channel in the U.S. starting this fall. Romano said he welcomes competition, which "just validates our industry … the fact that such powerful companies are coming into the market shows the market has huge growth potential.”