NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 21, 2004

Approximately 75 percent of Latinos in the United States get their news from English mediums or alternate between English and Spanish, prompting marketers to create English-speaking television networks geared to Latinos, say observers.

A recent survey by the Washington-based Pew Hispanic Center revealed that:

  • Thirty-one percent of Latinos receive their news from English language media.
  • Forty-four percent of Latinos alternate between English and Spanish language media.
  • Only 24 percent of Latinos receive their news from Spanish only media.

Cable channels such as SiTV and Mun2 are offering programming designed for English-speaking Latinos, and New-York based Voy Group is planning to launch its own cable network for Latinos who speak primarily English.

Latinos, including both English and Spanish-speaking, will represent about $1 trillion in consumer buying power before the end of the decade, and many entrepreneurs are paying attention.

However, some companies are moving in the opposite direction, assuming that all Latinos speak predominantly Spanish. Indeed, California wine growers are now printing their bottle labels in Spanish as well as English. But according to observers, the Spanish-speaking-only market consists mainly of first-generation Latino immigrants, although they account for an estimated $15 billion in buying power annually.

Source: Ruben Navarrette, "Spanish or English? Neither, it's the Language of Money," Dallas Morning News, June 16, 2004; based upon Roberto Suro, "Changing Channels and Crisscrossing Cultures: A Survey of Latinos on the News Media," Pew Hispanic Center, April 2004.


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