Hola a todos. These are bad days at Univisión and Telemundo. Both major US corporate español language networks are having major lay-offs, even as Telemundo recently moved into their $250 Million dollar new global headquarters in Miami. Was/Were some project(s) over-budgeted?
And Univisión cancelled their long-planned and hyped IPO.
I haven’t watched either network for months as I explained in that article.
By the way, Telemundo is pronounced: Tele-moon-doe. I’ve heard some US English-only speakers proudly mangle the pronunciation of that network.
And Univisión is pronounced: uniβiˈsjo̞n. It’s not pronounced “you-knee-vision” the way the español-illiterates pronounce it who also mangle US English (which is the only language they speak, sort of).
The reason given for the decline in Univisión and Telemundo’s viewership is that Los Latinos/Hispanos born in the shithole US and who are bilingual are now watching English language networks. Really? I suppose some are. But I don’t buy that as the real reason for the decline in viewership for these networks.
When I was monitoring both of these corporate networks day and night for years, I noticed the over-saturation of corporate advertising for tech: phones and phone apps. The Tech Industrial ComplexTM was heavily promoted on both networks. I watched some of the celebrity show hosts sit on the sets playing with their phones and using their phone as part of the show. They were essentially promoting the phone addiction and tech.
Mi amigo/My friend and I both noticed this.
We said at the time: Do these corporate networks not understand that they are promoting their own demise — cutting their own throat — with all of this tech advertisement saturated on viewers buying “the latest and greatest” phone and “how much fun this will be because everybody’s doing it!” and promoting the phone addiction in society? They want all their viewers starring at phones getting a dopamine hit?
Has dopamine got us hooked on tech?
Silicon Valley is keen to exploit the brain chemical credited with keeping us tapping on apps and social media.
From the article (with my slight edits of a tech corporation’s name):
“In an unprecedented attack of candour, Sean Parker, the 38-year-old founding president of FB, recently admitted that the social network was founded not to unite us, but to distract us. “The thought process was: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’” he said at an event in Philadelphia in November. To achieve this goal, FB’s architects exploited a “vulnerability in human psychology”, explained Parker, who resigned from the company in 2005. Whenever someone likes or comments on a post or photograph, he said, “we… give you a little dopamine hit”. FB is an empire of empires, then, built upon a molecule.”
From what I’ve seen, I suspect the decline in viewership for these networks is because most people are glued to their phones and they’re not watching these or any networks, including the English networks.
If you consider Nielsen a reliable source of information, you may find this interesting:
Based on the Nielsen ratings, I don’t get the sense that Latinos have switched over to watching English language networks — at least in any large numbers — when the highest number of viewers for an English language network as of this writing for the past week was short of 12,000 viewers. That’s all? The English language corporate networks used to get millions of viewers. The numbers are dismal in all of these categories from Nielsen.
[Source: Nielsen Ratings]
I still think what we’re seeing is the phone addiction, and these corporate networks refuse to talk about. People are now “watching” their phone. They’re playing silly little mindless games on their phones and vegetating on dopamine-inducing, data-mined so-called “social media” — the headquarters for those people with no genuine social skills — and helping techie millionaires and billionaires make more billions.
It was just five years ago (2013) as of this writing that one read this article:
I remember when I was monitoring these two networks, they were the top networks in prime time — and boasted about that — regardless of language with a certain age demographic. I remember that Uni was ahead of Telemundo and then just before I stopped monitoring them, Telemundo started edging out Univisión. To become a bit more independent from Televisa en México — my interpretation of that or did I read that somewhere? — Uni started their own Univisión Studios and produced the telenovela, Eva Luna, (which was well done) but I don’t remember seeing anything from Univisión Studios after that. Did it die? Much of Uni’s programming comes from Televisa. Telemundo has their own production studios in Miami for producing their own telenovelas. Telenovelas don’t seem to be doing well anymore. (The best telenovela in my opinion was Fernando Gaitán’s Betty, la Fea from Bogotá, Colombia). I remember reading an article that said that Televisa had made a new rule that telenovelas can only last 3 months, as opposed to up to 8-9 months in length depending upon the telenovela. I think one of the top complaints among viewers of telenovelas is that these corporate networks don’t show them as they were originally produced. They disrespect them by making cuts in them to get in commercial time or to shorten them. Why bother showing them at all if you’re going to disrespect them? In some cases, they cut out so much that the story line no longer makes any sense. A new character can come out of nowhere, because the network cut out where the character was originally introduced to viewers. So you’re thinking while watching it, “Well who is this person? Where did he come from? I’ve been watching every capítulo/chapter. Did I miss something?” (No, you didn’t. They cut it.) Loco. By comparison, the equivalent on US English language networks go on for decades. I’ve never heard that the English language networks cut out anything when they show their “soap operas” as they’re called.
In my opinion, Univisión made a major, big mistake when they cancelled Sábado Gigante (SG), which left hundreds of people out of a job which many employees had held for decades. After a 53-year long run (the longest run of any variety show on television), the last show of Sábado Gigante was on el 19 de septiembre de 2015/19 September 19, 2015, yet my article about the cancellation of SG still gets weekly hits which is interesting. Clearly, SG viewers have not forgotten the show. Do they resent that it was cancelled? Even with the on-camera staff for SG, the viewers never saw any of them again after the show was cancelled. It was as if the network didn’t try to place them anywhere else in the network. For example, what happened to the SG dancers? They were excellent. We never saw them again. I had thought maybe they would be moved over to El Gordo y La Flaca, but no. By cancelling SG, it also left this big 3-hour time slot gap available in prime time on Saturday night — because Sábado Gigante was a 3-hour programme produced live each week, East Coast time — that Uni didn’t seem to know what to do with. What were they (or was it Televisa?) thinking when they made this decision? The cancellation of SG didn’t seem to be well thought out. And it seems that things have been downhill for Uni ever since. Then Don Francisco, the well-known host of SG, went over to Telemundo — I think Telemundo understood the major mistake Uni had made — and (as memory serves) they have given him the opportunity to try out different show ideas on their network. He currently has his own show, Don Francisco Te Invita.
My, how things have changed.
You can read more about these layoffs in the links below.
I think the phone addiction has finally hit these corporate networks but they don’t want to talk about that because it could offend precious tech and the sacrosanct Tech Industrial ComplexTM and their billionaire owners, as well as the 1 percent owners of the Orwellian-named “social media” corporations which both networks have heavily promoted. These corporate networks have taken in so much dinero/money from the Tech Industrial ComplexTM in ad revenue that it seems that they don’t want to speak a negative word about sacrosanct tech. So instead, they say that Latinos are watching English language channels. Maybe a few are. Regardless, “let’s use that as the excuse for the troubles at our networks” seems to be the thinking of these two corporate networks.
One might be asking: Are they still promoting phones on these network? I would think so. While writing this, I went over to Univisión 14 which is the Bay Area’s Univisión affiliate and they were showing an acne ad at the time. The people in the ad held up their phone to show images of their past acne problems. Gotta get those phones in there!
But I think a more logical and realistic reason for the demise of these two corporate networks, in my opinion and in the opinion of mis amigo/my friends that I checked with while writing this: Just from what we’ve seen in tech-addicted San Francisco — where the majority of people we see are walking around like lobotomised tech zombies with a phone attached to their nose — the demise of these two español language networks is the severe phone addiction in our society.
And I have to say that this addiction to one’s phone seems stronger than the addiction to any drug that one could have. Most people don’t even want to talk about it, probably because they too are addicted to their phone.
One can’t help but notice this addiction, assuming one ever looks up from one’s phone. Chau.—el barrio rosa