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Thread: ESPN Deportes Radio Network to Close in September

  1. #11
    It's too bad Deportes is leaving the air. Not much of a vote of confidence for OTA radio when one of the only Spanish language sports networks gives up on it.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by boombox4 View Post
    It's too bad Deportes is leaving the air. Not much of a vote of confidence for OTA radio when one of the only Spanish language sports networks gives up on it.
    The issue is the programming concept, not the medium. There is no commonality and consensus among Hispanics across the US about teams and various sports, and there are huge language differences among people from different countries.

    As one person said, "seventeen countries separated by a single language" referring to all the nations of Latin America that speak Spanish.

    The ESPN Deportes network never got traction, did not have much advertising and local stations could not make much money. On the other hand, using target web streams they can reach each group with the sports they like with the dialect and accent they understand.

    The idea was stupid from the beginning. But they kept throwing money at it hoping it would work. Finally, they learned.
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  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by boombox4 View Post
    It's too bad Deportes is leaving the air. Not much of a vote of confidence for OTA radio when one of the only Spanish language sports networks gives up on it.
    Ot is only too bad if you only listen to the station and two understand Spanish, otherwise how would you know what they are talking about?

  4. #14
    Well, I think it really was mostly about Mexican-born listeners keeping up with the soccer teams in Mexico and international soccer teams they were interested in, plus a bit of U.S. baseball and basketball. So I guess it caught an audience of some sort in California, Texas and other communities where much of the Spanish-speaking audience is recently from Mexico. Most of the ESPN Deportes hosts were broadcasting from Mexico, or in the U.S., speaking with Mexican accents.

    But putting it in NYC, Miami, Washington, etc. really was not logical, since there aren't enough Mexican-born sports fans east of the Mississippi. As I've said before, it would be like syndicating 1089 TalkSport from London and putting it in American cities, figuring all English-language discussion of sports is the same.

    Yet Univision followed ESPN Deportes all the way. The Univision AM stations were all converted to affiliates of the Univision Deportes Network, including

    KTNQ Los Angeles
    WADO New York
    WRTO Chicago
    KLAT Houston
    KFLC Dallas

    and others. Univision Deportes continues, with no word of its demise.


  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg. View Post
    Well, I think it really was mostly about Mexican-born listeners keeping up with the soccer teams in Mexico and international soccer teams they were interested in, plus a bit of U.S. baseball and basketball. So I guess it caught an audience of some sort in California, Texas and other communities where much of the Spanish-speaking audience is recently from Mexico. Most of the ESPN Deportes hosts were broadcasting from Mexico, or in the U.S., speaking with Mexican accents.

    But putting it in NYC, Miami, Washington, etc. really was not logical, since there aren't enough Mexican-born sports fans east of the Mississippi. As I've said before, it would be like syndicating 1089 TalkSport from London and putting it in American cities, figuring all English-language discussion of sports is the same.

    Yet Univision followed ESPN Deportes all the way. The Univision AM stations were all converted to affiliates of the Univision Deportes Network, including

    KTNQ Los Angeles
    WADO New York
    WRTO Chicago
    KLAT Houston
    KFLC Dallas

    and others. Univision Deportes continues, with no word of its demise.

    Wrong on a number of accounts.

    The sport of about 85% Spanish speaking Hispanics in the US is soccer. ESPN Deportes en Español followed soccer quite extensively, but the comment I heard most often was that there was too much about US baseball, basketball and even football.

    The largest growth population elements in the US, including NY, DC, and Miami are Mexican, Central and South American. Only Dominicans, Puerto Ricans and Cubans are not from soccer-focused nations. The interest in US teams and sports comes in the second generation and beyond, and is mostly found among English speakers.

    But even in Miami today, more than half the Hispanics in 25-54 are not Cuban... they are from Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Central America and other soccer-following nations.

    The issue is that all-sports radio is not popular anywhere in Latin America. Attempts at all sports in places ranging from Puerto Rico to Chile have failed, or are very small audience attractions, such as in Argentina and Mexico City.

    Univision has a complete staff of Spanish speaking sports talent from TV, and understands the interests of the majority of Spanish dominant sports fans. It still remains to be seen if any national sports format can work because of the diverse interest in the teams of different nations or even different areas of Mexico. And if they localize the programming, there are very increased costs in each market and then we got back to the fact that the format has much more limited appeal in Spanish. So even though Univision has much better depth in Spanish language sports coverage, the jury is still out on whether sports as a format will work; it sure does not in most places of Latin America.

    WADO only carries a couple of the radio network shows and some play by play of local teams. Most of the day it has local talk programming, not the sports net. Even KTNQ is off the sports network to do the morning show and some other programming.
    Last edited by DavidEduardo; 07-07-2019 at 07:46 AM.
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  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by staggmovie View Post
    Ot is only too bad if you only listen to the station and two understand Spanish, otherwise how would you know what they are talking about?
    There are over 40 million people in the US who speak Spanish. And there are others, like myself, that took the language in college and understand some of it.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEduardo View Post


    The issue is the programming concept, not the medium. There is no commonality and consensus among Hispanics across the US about teams and various sports, and there are huge language differences among people from different countries.

    As one person said, "seventeen countries separated by a single language" referring to all the nations of Latin America that speak Spanish.

    The ESPN Deportes network never got traction, did not have much advertising and local stations could not make much money. On the other hand, using target web streams they can reach each group with the sports they like with the dialect and accent they understand.

    The idea was stupid from the beginning. But they kept throwing money at it hoping it would work. Finally, they learned.
    If the language / dialect is such an issue, how does Univision TV survive? I knew there were Spanish accents and dialects, but I wasn't aware they were such a huge issue for the media.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by boombox4 View Post
    If the language / dialect is such an issue, how does Univision TV survive? I knew there were Spanish accents and dialects, but I wasn't aware they were such a huge issue for the media.
    I'd imagine that broadcasters on national networks like Univision are told to standardize their accents as much as possible and ditch the regional slang in favor of words and phrases understood by all Spanish speakers in this hemisphere. Much as the major English-language networks require their anchors and other announcers to speak "standard" English with a geography-neutral accent -- a national anchor might be from Boston or Brooklyn or Birmingham, but before getting that job he or she will have had to get rid of as much of their native accents as possible. And, of course, should the Brooklyn guy have to introduce a story about people waiting to get into a sporting event, he will have to say they are "waiting IN line," which is what most of the country says, even though New Yorkers say "waiting ON line," Likewise, Ms. Boston will have to call that drinking fountain a drinking fountain, not a bubbler, and our Alabama anchor will have to pronounce "Massachusetts" with a "ch" sound, not the "t" that many folks in the Deep South put in the word.

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