Comcast is straddling two burgeoning marketplaces -- Spanish-language media and video-on-demand -- with this week's launch of Xfinity TV, a cross-platform Spanish-language entertainment package that also includes regular TV and online video channels. Comcast has hired Sofia Vergara of ABC's "Modern Family" as a spokesperson to promote the new service.
Comcast's Spanish-language video-on-demand service includes 700 programming choices, as well as new content from broadcasting partners, including Telemundo, Galavisión, TeleFutura and mun2.
The online Latino TV (www.XfinityTV.com/latinoTV ) destination offers Comcast digital subscribers free access to over 500 Spanish-language movies and shows from TV and movie partners, such as Univision, Mexicano, Gran Cine, Caracol TV, Discovery Familia, ¡Sorpresa! and Tr3s, in addition to content from HBO Latino and Starz. Subscribers can also watch English-language programming in Spanish. To gain access, Comcast customers have to sign in with their Comcast ID and password.
The last couple of years have brought an increase in the number of VOD and Internet-based Spanish-language programming offerings from cable providers and Hispanic networks. Back in October 2009, Univision and Time Warner Cable partnered to launch a video-on-demand service for Spanish-language content called Lo Mejor On Demand ("The Best On Demand").
Lo Mejor On Demand offers Time Warner Digital Cable customers a range of free programming drawn from Univision and its sister cable networks, TeleFutura and Galavision.
At the same time, Spanish-language cable providers are rapidly branching out into new delivery platforms, including digital out-of-home video. In August 2010, Telemundo launched a new DO network targeting Hispanics outside the home, called Telemundo en tu Mundo (Telemundo in Your World). The DO network consists of digital screens in 200 supermarkets, 800 retailers, 2,000 metro buses and major entertainment arenas visited by large numbers of Hispanic consumers.
In 2008, the U.S. Hispanic population numbered 47 million, or 15.5% of the total U.S. population of 303 million, and its growth rate is much higher. If current trends continue, Hispanics will account for 30% of the U.S. population by 2050, according to Pew Research Center. Moreover, Hispanic spending power is also increasing rapidly, from an estimated $700 billion in 2004 to $1 trillion in 2010.