Why TLN is bringing more Spanish-language channels to Canada

Taking a look at the country's young, well-educated Hispanic market and whether they'll be excited for more news, entertainment and sports on TV.
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Nearly a year after Corus Entertainment’s Telelatino network rebranded TLN en Español as Univision Canada, the network has announced plans to bring three more Spanish-language channels to the Canadian market.

The company’s president Aldo Di Felice has noted that Canada’s Spanish-speaking population is growing fast, and the company’s communications manager, they are ready to consume channels it has partnered with Miami-based Hemisphere Media Group to bring. These include Centroamerica TV,  Wapa America and Television Dominicana, which will broadcast news, entertainment and lifestyle programming from Central America, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, including popular sports like national soccer, basketball and baseball.

According to Statistics Canada data provided by TLN, Spanish is the most-spoken foreign language in Canada, and the fastest-growing foreign language in Canada over the last decade.

“This community is becoming more and more noticed by mainstream media and marketers and we expect to see an awakening to the potential of the Spanish language market in Canada over the next several years,” says Bruna Aloe, communications manager at TLN.

But just who are these Spanish-speaking viewers?

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada figures from 2003 to 2012, provided by TLN, nearly half of Latin Americans living in Canada are from Mexico and Columbia, close to 20% are from Peru, Venezuela and Argentina and 7% are from Cuba. The remainder are from other Latin American countries, including Central America.

According to a report by media agency PHD, Spanish, A report on Canada’s Diversity, they are young, well educated, well employed and very urban, gravitating to the province of Quebec, and they are raising families.

According to the PHD study, citing Fall 2014 data from PMB, there are just over one million adults in Canada who speak Spanish conversationally, representing nearly 4% of its population. Quebec boasts the largest proportion of Hispanics, accounting for 39% of that population. Hispanics also have a presence in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton and Toronto, but few are found in the Prairie provinces or outside of major cities. 

They are younger than the population as a whole, with 41% fitting in the 18-to-34 age range, compared with 29% in that age range among all Canadians. This demo is also highly educated, with 41% of the Hispanic 18-plus community having bachelor or post-graduate degrees, compared with 24% of Canadians 18-plus.  As a result, 15% of the population hold professional or senior managerial positions, compared with 10% of the total population.

According to Numeris data from 2014 provided by TLN, Canada’s Spanish-speaking population overindexes the Canadians population in disposable income spending on dining and entertainment. For instance, 52% say they went to the movie theatre in the past four months, 36% a bar or pub and 30% a fine dining restaurant.

Meanwhile, 18% own a vehicle that cost between $30,000 and $39,000.

When it comes to media consumption, the Hispanic community are voracious readers, according to the PHD study, being 40% more likely than the average Canadian to fall into the heaviest magazine-reading quintile. They also read the newspaper more than the average Canadian and access the internet via mobile devices to a far greater extent than the general population, according to the report.

Given the limited amount of Spanish-language content on TV currently and the general tendency for younger Canadians to watch less TV than their older peers, PHD says it found low levels of TV watching among this population. They are also light to medium consumers of radio. Because Numeris does not track viewership for ethnic channels, there is no hard data on the people watching TLN’s existing channels – including Cinelatino and Univision. Details on whether those channels will be available as part of an online package have not yet been released.

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