Immigration bill would benefit Hispanic media


Wachovia Securities analyst Marci Ryvicker has been assessing the immigration reform proposals being debated on Capitol Hill and determined that passage would be good news for Entravision and other US media companies targeting Hispanics. "Current immigration proposals would enable roughly nine million illegal Hispanic immigrants to obtain US citizenship, providing opportunities that could increase Hispanic buying power and disposable income.  Advertisers are already attracted to Hispanics' younger age, larger households and significant population growth.

This bill would shed an even brighter light on the Hispanic demographic, which should benefit the largest Spanish-language media operators, such as Entravision," she said in a research note.

Even if the bill doesn't pass, she still sees upside potential. "Although the Senate pulled the immigration bill on Friday due to lack of favorable votes, we still see the immigration debate as a catalyst for Hispanic media.  What the bill and its surrounding controversy has done is put a spotlight on the Hispanic demographic, which should provide both indirect and direct benefits to Spanish-language media – indirect benefits by way of more exposure to advertisers and direct benefits by way of additional political dollars, specifically issue advertising," Ryvicker said.

In addition, she notes that several media buyers have told her the Hispanic upfront is "en fuego" (on fire), with predictions of a 7% increase vs. pretty much flat (or even down) for mainstream English networks. Although Entravision itself doesn't own a TV network, the analyst says "a strong marketplace suggests increased advertiser demand for Hispanic media."