Volume 7 | August 2014
The shifting demographics of Latino populations in the United States, coupled with television strategies of narrowcasting and the search for new niche markets, have opened the possibility of commercially exploiting the rising yet underserved young bilingual and bicultural Hispanic audiences. These commercial strategies have defied a long-established dichotomy along linguistic lines represented by Spanish-only language media and English mainstream media. The fact that 40% of Hispanics are below 21 years old clearly defines a desirable market of young bilingual-bicultural Latinos, triggering the creation of new television networks. This paper discusses the emergence and growth of mun2 (NBC/Comcast), NuvoTV and Tr3s (MTV/Viacom) as they position themselves in the changing field of the U.S. Latino television. The new networks offer a competing cultural and commercial hybridity by presenting an array of Latino identities that until recently had been neglected and unexplored in network television.
Keywords: Bilingual-Bicultural Hispanics/Latinos, Language, Identity, Hybridity, Television
Historically, Hispanics have been defined as recently arrived, family oriented, traditionally bound, brand loyal and, most importantly, Spanish speakers. The conflation between language and Latino culture has been central in the development of the Hispanic market and in the creation of a commercial Latino identity (Dávila, 2012; Rodríguez, 1997). The Spanish-language is one of the most visible markers of Hispanic identity and has been historically reinforced by the Spanish language media (SLM). It has been the raison d’être for the national networks Univision and Telemundo, the largest Hispanic television networks targeting Spanish-speakers in the U.S. For over 50 years, Univision—which first emerged as the Spanish International Network (SIN) in 1962—has relied on Spanish programming with no institutional efforts to include English in its programming lineup. Telemundo, launched in the continental U.S. in 1987, briefly experimented in the 1990s with English language shows targeting bilingual young Latinos using Spanish-language captioning, only to revert to Spanish under advertising pressures (Levine, 2001). Although Univision and Telemundo still remain strong and attract large Hispanic audiences, new market developments have allowed the surge of a series of English, bilingual and Spanish language networks targeting second- and later-generation Latinos. Shifting the linguistic code from Spanish to English and positioning themselves in different places along the English-Spanish spectrum, these networks seek to secure a space in the future landscape of television for Latinos. They are laying foundations to create and consolidate new audiences, but this time in English, a possibility that was out of the question a few decades ago. Global conglomerates and independent networks alike are participating in the process of manufacturing new types of commercial Hispanic bilingualism with the goal of reaching the widest possible audience. Spanish language networks are important today; however, young English-dominant and bilingual audiences are going to be even more important in the future.
In this article we discuss the roles that language and culture play in the market strategies developed by mun2 (NBC-Telemundo), Tr3s (MTV-Viacom) and NuvoTV (SíTV Media) to target young Latino or Hispanic audiences. In this comparative analysis we argue that these networks have engaged in the construction of bilingual and bicultural audiences with linguistic models that break away from the traditional Spanish/English language binary established several decades ago by Univision and Telemundo. The main focus here is on the linguistic strategies developed by the new cable networks as they connect to larger issues of cultural identity, biculturalism and cultural hybridity. We suggest that these networks are helping manufacture a new Hispanic bilingualism which is heavily supported by the resources and long-term strategies developed by the parent companies in their quest to reach Latinos. This is the case of mun2 and Tr3s which belong to global conglomerates. NuvoTV, as we will discuss below, offers a more dynamic model to address young Latinos which is characterized by continuous changes in the programming and a strong presence of Latino celebrities (e.g. Jennifer Lopez) in marketing and programming decisions. The article starts with an industry analysis of transformations in the Latino television field, continues with a discussion of the role of English and Spanish on Latinos’ cultural hybridity and concludes with an analysis of five reality shows to illustrate the bilingual and bicultural modes of representation used by the networks. Throughout the analysis, we discuss the new opportunities presented by these networks in terms of Latino agency, negotiation and resistance. We argue that the new networks—through competition and market fragmentation—are providing opportunities to represent Latino/a identities previously neglected in U.S. Spanish and English-language television.
In the past 13 years we have witnessed the creation of LATV (2001), mun2 (2001), NuvoTV (launched in 2004 as SíTV and renamed as NuvoTV in 2011), Tr3s (formerly MTV Tr3s in 2006), Fusion (2013), and El Rey (2013). These fairly recent networks—whether independently owned or properties of global conglomerates—have expanded the spectrum of television programming for Latinos with alternative discourses, focusing more on cultural hybridity, as compared to content presented by Univision and Telemundo or the Latino-themed programming on English mainstream networks (Piñón, and Rojas, 2011). In this study we focus specifically on mun2, Tr3s and NuvoTV, leaving for future analysis the networks Fusion (ABC News/Univision) and El Rey (Troublemaker Studios/Univision) which launched in October and December 2013, respectively. More data on the performance of the latter two networks must become available before we can evaluate them effectively.
During the past decade, the bilingual networks have struggled to position themselves in the Latino market niche and to obtain advertising. Experimentation with formats, genres and name changes have characterized the initial years when the networks sought to define the exact dose of cultural hybridity and bilingualism they would incorporate into their programming. Some networks, such as LATV, went from having a bilingual orientation in 2001 to being a mostly Spanish-language network in the course of six years. In this new scenario it becomes relevant to ask: What types of Latino representations are these networks delivering? To what degree do these networks provide alternative and competitive programming for U.S. Latinos? What image or version of the audience do these networks have in mind when developing their programming strategies? What types of linguistic flexibility do they use in their programming? We argue that in the commercial construction of the new Latino audiences, the emergent networks have taken a more flexible position on language use, spreading their programming and advertising across the linguistic spectrum. Code-switching between English and Spanish language within shows, in advertising, and even in telenovela dialogues, is a normal occurrence. Mixing English words into Spanish, or vice versa, appears to be “a deviation from the traditional industry practice of advocating for the superiority of Spanish over English language among Latinos” (Chávez, 2013, p. 9). However, departing from Spanish as the central marker of cultural distinction is part of the new scenario of post-network television and the newly defined Latino audiences. Chávez’s (2014) concern for understanding “how the nature of competition changes when language is not the defining characteristic of the Hispanic market” is central to our problem (p. 40). It appears that the new networks are addressing the linguistic complexity of U.S. Latinos and, consequently, have developed more flexible positions on language.
The pan-ethnic model long espoused by Univision and Telemundo, based on one language and one culture, and characterized by a “transnational and transcontinental approach to Hispanic culture,” is revealing some cracks (Dávila, 2001). The model remains strong, but the Hispanic broadcasters are now forming alliances to create their future English-language audiences beyond immigrants and Spanish-speakers. The Latino television field is in constant flux and it seems relevant to question and investigate how these new networks are appropriating the cultural space created in the intersection between Spanish- and English-language media. We see networks testing programming and changing lineups from one season to the next in a continuous effort to align content with imagined audiences’ interests. And without underestimating the power to represent and to “institutionally define the Latino audience” (Chávez, 2013, p. 11; Ang, 1991), we see in these transformations an opportunity to include other Latino identities that have previously been neglected and unexplored in network television. Culture, specifically the Latino culture—and not the Spanish language—is now at the center of the Latino television battlefront (Dávila, 2000).
In order to understand the growth and cultural positioning of these networks, we first need to discuss the larger television environment they operate in and, in some cases, their connections with parent companies.
A Blossoming Latino-Oriented Television Industry
Paradoxically, one of the most telling aspects of the increasing Latino-oriented television industry’s growth and vitality is the emergence of the English-language and bilingual national television networks. They are challenging the hegemony of the Spanish-language networks but, at the same time, they are creating opportunities to expand their reach by luring audiences away from the mainstream television networks. Some of the new networks broadcast in English but are still catering to Latinos with themes and topics rooted in the culture. Following demographic trends and marketing research, the industry is eager to access the growing English-speaking and bilingual young Latino population. Drawn by U.S. Census numbers, and supported by marketing research on the evolving Latino audience profile, the television industry is working on developing new televisual modalities to address but, most importantly, to successfully attract and engage Latina/os. Although in 2014 the ratings of bilingual and English language Latino-oriented networks lagged far behind their Spanish-language and mainstream English counterparts, the challenge to the industry is clear: Broadcasters have to be effective in appealing to the new Latino demographics and must produce a marketable space of bicultural and bilingual televisual Latinidad. This will expand the advertising space in which Hispanics can be addressed in both languages.
These new corporate linguistic ventures need to be situated within the overall expansion of the Hispanic television industry, which as stated above, is still under the hegemonic control of Spanish-language television. During the 2000s, the growth and visibility of the Spanish television networks were cemented by increasing ratings, in contrast to the shrinking numbers for their English language counterparts. The rise from two to seven national broadcasting television networks underscores the still hegemonic role of Spanish language media as the main driver of televisual Latinidad. However, the push for new linguistic and cultural approaches in the construction of new markets has also been embraced by powerful Spanish language media corporations and global conglomerates such as NBC-Comcast (owners of Telemundo & mun2), Disney/ABC & Univisión (owners of Fusion), Twenty Century Fox (owner of MundoFox & Fox Deportes), Viacom/MTV (owners of Tr3s), and TimeWarner (owner of CNN en Español and HBO Latino) which see increasing opportunities among the younger, bicultural and bilingual Latino populations. All of these corporations have developed localized English or bilingual cable networks and programming for Latinos (Piñón & Rojas, 2011).
The entry of transnational media corporations based in the U.S. and Latin America to the Hispanic TV market has been accentuated through the launching of new networks and/or acquisition of significant shares of the largest Spanish language broadcasting networks: NBC bought Telemundo in 2001; TV Azteca established Azteca America in 2001; Univision (while still under Televisa’s partial ownership) launched UniMás en 2002; Vme was unveiled in 2007 and later acquired by the Spanish group Prisa in 2009; Liberman Broadcasting Inc. launched Estrella in 2009; and MunfoFox was established by Twenty Century Fox and Colombia-based RCN in 2012.
While the Spanish-language broadcasting television industry became more populated in the last decade, Univision still holds a decisive hegemony over the market followed by distant second-rated Telemundo. In 2012, Univision and UniMás (formerly Telefutura) had a combined 70 percent of the U.S. Spanish-language television share. Telemundo followed with 22 percent, and Estrella TV, Azteca America and MundoFox had a combined 7 percent (Piñón, Manrique, and Cornejo, 2013). By June 2013, Univision had the extraordinary achievement of becoming the most watched U.S. network in any language among 18-to-49-year-old viewers (De la Fuente, 2013).
Mapping the transformation of U.S. Spanish-language television, Wilkinson (2002) has identified three main media-industrial stages: the first phase, from 1961 to 1985, marked the period in which Univision (formerly SIN) launched and grew to a national network under the leadership of Mexico’s Televisa. During the second phase, from 1986 to 1992, Televisa was forced to divest from Univision under allegations of illegal ownership, during which time Hallmark Cards Corp. owned the company. The third phase started in 1992, when Televisa returned to Univision in partnership with Venevision, and with Jerrold Perenchio as the major investor. As these ownership changes occurred, Latino advocacy groups resisted the repeated transfer of Latino-oriented media companies to non-Latino and/or foreign owners. Advocates fought for greater Latino visibility on camera and off, as well as for the construction of a Pan Latino identity reflecting the population’s multiplicity of talents, national cultures and accents.
We argue that the transition to a fourth phase began in 2001, and continues today with a twofold media development: first, the incorporation of U.S. Latino media into the portfolios of global media corporations, which flourished first with cable networks, and was later cemented by NBC’s acquisition of Telemundo in 2001. Second, fragmentation of the Latino television offering, with narrowcasting strategies that enabled the rise of bilingual and English language networks (Piñón and Rojas, 2011). While the authenticity of English speaking Latina/os has largely been questioned by Spanish language television executives, ad agencies, sponsors and advertisers, the rise of the bilingual networks expands the horizon of Latinidad. Wilkinson (2002) argued that in Spanish language television struggles for visibility and representation among Hispanic subgroups were based on ethnicity and national origin. In contrast, in the bilingual and bicultural networks, these struggles are located in linguistic and cultural hybridity, which is contextually more fluid. Thus, the inclusion of second and third generations of English speaking Latinos to the corporate strategies of the Latino-oriented television industry established the conditions for a new battle in which the reconfiguration of a bilingual Latinidad is at stake, although largely shaped by commercial incentives.
Language and Cultural Hybridity
With slogans such as “Speak English, Live Latin” from SíTV (now NuvoTV), the new networks are trying to reach the U.S-born Latino/a demographic (Ordoñez, 2005). The imagined audience is constituted by the children of immigrants who are fluent English speakers, are unlikely to view Spanish television and who feel underrepresented by English-language television (Moran, 2011). Broadcasters and marketers have developed typologies to describe different segments of this young bilingual-bicultural population and locate them according to their degree of acculturation to the U.S. society (e.g. Americanizado, Nueva Latina, Bi-cultural, Hispano and Latinoamericana) (Jacobson, 2011). In all of these categories, language is a marker of cultural identity but it does not exclusively define Latinos. Values, religion, history, traditions, music and food, among other factors, are part of Latinos’ cultural hybridity. Latinos are bicultural and can be multicultural, but may not be bilingual. Many bilingual Latinos can “move fluidly between not just Spanish and English, but also the standard and vernacular varieties, a movement that is call translanguaging” (García, 2009, cited in Sayer, 2013, p. 63). The Spanish language provides a connecting bond among first generation Latinos. However, what ties second and later generations “is the common experience of being the children of Latina/o immigrants, not necessarily the Spanish-language, although they may use it too” (Moran, 2011, p. 47). Ethnic loyalty—or the commitment to ethnic heritage—is promoted by parents and grandparents who practice dual-cultural socialization with their children (Padilla, 2006). However, the maintenance of a bicultural lifestyle originates with the individual who pursues it by choice and often sees the original culture “as a benefit rather than a liability” (p. 479).
Having a bicultural identity also encompasses cultural links to different social codes or languages. It is well documented that many Latinos lose their Spanish language competency (language attrition) by the third generation (Portes & Rumbaut, 2001; Bean & Stevens, 2003; Rumbaut, 2011). Ninety-six percent of third generation Mexican Americans (with both parents born in the U.S.) prefer to speak English at home (Rumbaut, 2011). Scholars agree that it is the second generation that defines the form of assimilation to the mainstream culture, and also embraces bilingualism to different degrees (Portes & Rumbaut, 2001; Rumbaut, 2011). According to Burrows (2010), bilingualism is a byproduct of language contact and is typically developed by second-generation immigrant families (p. 57). Language contact inevitably brings language change and may create tensions in largely monolingual societies which struggle to reserve a mythical pure form of the dominant language, such as Standard English, and distrust any attempt to promote bilingualism or the use of other languages, like Spanish in this case (Burrows, 2010; Portes & Rumbaut, 2001). Scholars report that bilingualism “is most likely to be a stable feature of Hispanic American identity rather than a step along the way to English monolingualism” (Linton & Jimenez, 2009, p. 985). The growth of bilingualism in the United States has resulted from a large influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants; the transnational ties among immigrants, their children and other family members; and the labor-market rewards for being bilingual (p. 985). Even though there are national and institutional forces working against bilingualism, researchers argue that other factors counterbalance the “fears about non-English languages tearing […] the American national fabric” (p. 986).
Language Mixing and the Valorization of the Vernacular
When two cultures enter into contact, their languages also experience changes over time, and whenever different language speakers share social settings for extensive periods of time, the two languages will mix to some degree (Stavans, 2000). The extensive use of Spanish in the predominantly English-speaking U.S. Southwest represents a case of “language contact” although it is unclear whether Spanish will gain or lose vitality in relation to English in Latino communities (Sayer, 2008, p. 95). The mixing of English and Spanish in the borderlands has resulted in a quotidian practice of a mixed language –Spanglish—used mainly by Mexican American bilinguals (p. 95).
In spite of its widespread use, scholars argue that it is not clear whether Spanglish “is a dialect, a variety, or even a new hybrid language” (Sayer, 2008, p. 97). Some think that Spanglish is “an interlanguage or an Anglicized Spanish dialect” (Ardila, 2005, p. 61). Others see it as a corruption of Spanish and English, a “linguistic pollution” or “the language of a ‘raced,’ underclass people” (Dávila, 2001, p. 168). The fusion of English and Spanish can assume three main forms: borrowing nouns and verbs from English and/or Spanish (i.e. troca, líder, wachear, parquear); switching from one language to another between or even within sentences; and mixing the grammar of one language with the words of another (Sayer, 2008, p. 97). Placed in a continuum, Spanglish operates between monolingual Spanish speakers on one extreme and monolingual English speakers on the other, alternating the main language base, i.e. Spanish as a superstrate with English influence or English superstrate with a Spanish influence (p. 98).
Languages convey power and ideologies. Flores and Yúdice (1990) state, “Latino identity is mediated and constructed through the struggle over language” (p. 59; see also Flores, 1993, 2000 for the role of language in Puerto Rican identity). When Latinos use language in their everyday lives—their “interlingual border voice”—they are challenging what Flores and Yúdice call the “monocultural dictates of the official public sphere” (p. 60). After race, language is a domain in which Latinos negotiate value and attempt to contest institutional discrimination. Relegated to the private sphere by the current sociopolitical structure of the U.S. and together with other matters such as sexuality, body and family definitions “becomes the semiotic material around which identity is deployed in the public sphere” (p. 61). For Anzaldúa (2007), ethnic identity cannot be separated from linguistic identity—which she subsumes in the statement “I am my language.” She asserts, “Until I take pride in my language, I cannot take pride in myself” (cited in Flores & Yúdice, 1990 p. 73). Language, then, is a tool of resistance and negotiation and is crucial for self-worth and self-determination (p. 73).
The linguistic flexibility exhibited by the new television networks may not have this citizenship focus, as discussed by Yúdice and Anzaldúa, and they may not address all the possible discursive positions of Latinidad (“the state of being Latina/o” as described by Laó-Montes & Dávila, 2001). Linguistic flexibility does, however, expand the spectrum to include other cultural dynamics not represented in Hispanic TV before. The networks are moving beyond language to capture Latinos’ cultural hybridity. Yes, it is a another strategy of corporate cultural commodification, but this time practiced by media actors who are new to the field and are pushing the traditional actors to expand their reach and participate in the cultural struggles to represent Latinos.
Migration and language contact have gained Spanglish more visibility, and controversy as well. It is commonly perceived as a “bastard jargon” with neither gravitas nor a clear identity (Stavans, 2000). Spanglish has been accused of corrupting the standard or “real” Spanish and blamed for holding children back and condemning them to second-class citizenship (Sayer, 2008). Sayer states that in the linguistic sense “there is no such a thing as a ‘pure’ language” (p. 96), adding that sociolinguistics have long taken a relativistic approach: “No language is better or worse than another, and all languages are equally capable of expressing whatever their speakers need or want to express” (p. 96). Sayer concludes that from a sociolinguistic perspective, “languages don’t ‘get corrupted;’ they simply change” (p. 96).
Spanglish, which is highly controversial in educational settings, is being celebrated on the Latino bilingual networks and, to an extent, in Latino trade magazines and media publications. Writers capture the new bilingual-bicultural context in their headlines and texts and with phrases such as “playful Spanish-English fusion,” “bilingual reality,” “bicultural can-do” and “Planet Spanglish.” The following headline summarizes the emphasis on cultural hybridity expressed through language: “Dr Pepper learns how to speak a third language: Soft drink’s Vida23 targets bicultural youth with Spanglish effort” (Wentz, 2009). We have seen that language is central to the cultural hybridity process (mestizaje) in which Latinos are simultaneously assimilating and resisting their integration to the new society. Scholars see Spanglish both as a communication strategy linked to their hybrid identity (Betti, 2011) and as an “ideological contestation” of dominant language ideologies (Martínez, 2013, p, 276). From this perspective, the bilingual-bicultural networks appear to display a multicultural project that, in spite of its commercial nature, still allows some spaces of agency to specific actors represented in the networks. Recognizing and valuing linguistic hybridity is also a focal point in new research trends in multicultural education (Sayer, 2008).
García-Canclini (1995) used the term hybrid cultures to comprehend the complex social, political and cultural dynamics between processes of modernization and tradition that produce the discontinuities of a multi-temporal heterogeneity in Latin America. He underscores the key role of the “transnationalization of symbolic markets and migration” in the processes of deterritorialization that have profound impacts on the transformation of contemporary culture (1995). The rise of a bilingual Latinidad speaks to the hybrid nature of this new cultural formation, and the “loss of the ‘natural’ relation of culture to geographical and social territories, and, at the same time the partial territorial relocalization of old and new symbolic productions” (García-Canclini, 1995, p. 229). Considering the hetereogeneity of the U.S. Latino population, Spanglish is also a diverse phenomenon that has developed unevenly in different areas of the country. Some scholars argue that Spanglish is part of a larger phenomenon, the globalization of Spanish, as reflected in a decision by the Real Academia Española (RAE) to include Estadounidismos in the 2014 edition of its dictionary (Bazán-Figueras & Figueras, 2014).
In many ways, the rise of the bilingual networks seems to follow these complex new hybrid cultural processes. On one hand they “relocalize” young U.S.-born Latinos within the industry’s new category of “bilingual audience” as a market to be exploited and, on the other hand, they create and use a “new television lexicon” on the basis of language hybridity—Spanglish—that reflects current cultural dynamics and tensions among the diverse geographic, national and racial Latino groups and their identities. To some extent, the contents of the new networks, while driven by profits, demographic trends, and shaped by their specific corporate structures and ownership, are also the reflections of this “multi-temporal heterogeneity;” one in which language and cultural diversity play central roles. From this perspective, cultural and linguistic assimilation is not understood as a linear process, but as a discontinuous, multi-temporal and heterogeneous process across different Hispanic populations in the U.S.
Manufacturing Hispanic Bilingualism
The programming strategies and brand identities of the Spanish-language television networks are heavily dependent on their parent corporations and their links to transnational Latin American corporations. Historically, Univision has been heavily dependent on programming from Televisa which, over the years, has been a full or partial owner of the network (Wilkinson & Saragoza, 2012). Even more profound is Azteca America’s dependence on TV Azteca for programming and production formats (Piñón, 2011). MundoFox shows a similarly structural dependency, relying on the programming from its parent corporations and subsidiaries such as Colombian network RCN, FoxTeleColombia and Twenty Century Fox. Finally, Telemundo follows a different path of dependency. The network relies heavily on NBC’s structural support to enhance its own production and help the conglomerate reach global audiences (Chávez, 2013).
Similarly, the surge of English and bilingual television networks has been shaped by their own corporate structures and institutional relations with the Hispanic television industry. The brand identities and marketing strategies used by the new bilingual networks have been largely defined by the know-how (expertise)and programming resources of their parent corporations and specific media owners. Examples can be seen in the programming lineup of mun2 (owned by NBC-Telemundo), in the branding and genre-oriented programming of Tr3s launched by MTV in 2006, and the linguistic and programming approach of NuvoTV, which has its roots in the programming produced by independent producer SíTV, which became a national cable network in 2004. Access to resources from parent companies, (e.g., talent, industry professionals, successful formulas, programming, technology, facilities and financial support) is central to the new bilingual Latinidad being forged by the networks.
If we look at the brand identity and programming offer of mun2 in contrast to Tr3s, we find a very distinctive television content, primarily resulting from their positioning within their parent companies, NBC-Telemundo and Viacom-MTV respectively. For instance, MTV Tr3s has been part of a large transformation process whereby MTV has reimagined itself as global network with localized versions around the world. While the MTV brand was launched with great fanfare to global audiences, initially in a mostly homogeneous fashion (Banks, 1997), the necessity to localize and adapt to audience tastes around the world triggered one of the most interesting and widespread localization efforts of any network. MTV’s localization process strikes a balance between English-language anchors, music and programming versus local language content, according to the socio-cultural and economic conditions offered by each market (Fung, 2006). Viacom’s experience with MTV around the world is reflected in the network’s strategies to access U.S. Hispanics as a unique form of localization within national borders. As part of this internal localization process, Tr3s went through several name changes and brand identities before targeting bicultural-bilingual Latinos. In 1999, it was introduced as MTV S, only to be renamed MTV en Español in 2001, and then, become MTV Tr3s in 2006 (Del Moral, 2006). When Viacom acquired Más Music later in 2006, the network was renamed Tr3s (Higgins, 2006; Mahmud, 2010). Tr3’s long transformation has also been affected by the multicultural template MTV uses which, in turn, permeates and enhances the new bilingual approach of Tr3s. The casting and programming strategies targeting young multicultural Americans through music and reality TV, seems to fit very well the multicultural and bilingual landscape of the new Latinidad pursued by Tr3s, as discussed below. Thus, the network’s diet of reality shows and select music videos reflect the ideas, casting template, and narratives already pursued by the MTV brand. Particularly, the reality TV subgenre of “docu-series” in Tr3s’ shows such as Quiero mi Baby, Quiero mis Quince or Quiero mi Boda—discussed below—follows the cultural template and formula established by My Sweet 16, or 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom. Thus, the ethnic and cultural modalities of the shows broadcast on Tr3s are preceded by production decisions made to fit the multicultural global template of MTV. The successful MTV template for multicultural shows is the foundation from which bilingualism—with English predominance—arises as a natural fit for the kind of linguistic Latinidad produced by Tr3s. Locating the Tr3s studios in Miami helped produce a specific bilingual and multicultural Latinidad while also strategically positioning the MTV brand within the preferred node of connection with Latin America.
Similarly, as indicated above, the resources of the parent companies NBC and Telemundo shape the bilingual content proposed by mun2. Telemundo’s decision to move mun2 from Miami to Los Angeles in 2005 marks a distinction between the two NBC-affiliated networks. Two major reasons prompted the move: first, the technological infrastructure mun2 enjoys at NBC-Universal Studios clearly indicates how the parent company’s assets can shape the fate of a new bilingual network. Second, the cultural and linguistic advantages offered by Los Angeles, a multicultural and multinational market in which the majority of a large Latino population is of Mexican descent. This underscores both the crucial role of Mexicans as an audience for the new network, and the opportunity to benefit from the largely bilingual-bicultural character of this population.
The cultural template of Latinidad offered by mun2, then, is heavily influenced by Telemundo’s position as a Spanish language network and as a regional broadcaster with strong connections to Latin America. While mun2, like Tr3s, has followed a trend of music videos and reality TV as part of the network programming diet, mun2 has relied heavily on Telemundo’s Spanish-language telenovelas, with English subtitles, to fill up the weekday schedules. The Mexican-origin population represents 63% of all U.S. Hispanics (U.S. Census, 2010), and based on that demographic reality, Telemundo consistently introduces content elements that resonate with the Mexican audience (themes, narratives, music, filming locations or casting decisions), particularly in fictional production. Sometimes the shows allude to the Mexican experience in the United States. In contrast, primetime schedules at mun2 reflect a Latinidad largely grounded in the Mexicanness of its intended audience, with shows such as Larrymania, I Love Jenny, Chiquis and raq c, and Chiquis ‘n Control, among others. These reality shows reflect the Mexican-American audience’s influence at the network. However, the content strategies followed by mun2, not only reflect the corporate and location resources of this bilingual network; they are also an example of how “television networks have necessarily reconstituted Latino identity in ways that correspond with their expanding portfolios” (Chávez, 2013, p. 11) Figure 1 describes the perceived cultural identity that shapes the type of bilingualism shown in Tr3s and in mun2.
Figure 1. Structuring corporate bilingualism: the case of Tr3s and mun2
In contrast to the corporate origins of mun2 and Tr3s, NuvoTV was born as an independent production company in 1997 under the name of SíTV. Founded by Jeff Valdez, a Mexican-American native from California, SíTV produced English-language programs targeting Latinos. Valdez saw that English-speaking and bilingual Latinos of second and later generations were not addressed by either mainstream or Hispanic television networks. SíTV is credited with developing the first all-Latino cast speaking English with The Brothers García broadcast on Nickelodeon from 2000 to 2004. The lack of English-language programming oriented to Latinos triggered the idea of launching SíTV as a network in 2000, but the financial support did not materialize until February of 2004 (Schodolski, 2004). By that time, mun2 and MTV en Español were already on the air. However, among the new networks SíTV can be credited with creating the most English-intensive approach which departs from the bilingual—but mostly Spanish-oriented—approach of the competing networks. In terms of content, SíTV focuses more closely on the reality of U.S-born Latinos and their cultural hybridity.
SíTV (NuvoTV) started with investments from larger cable and satellite companies (such as Time Warner Cable and EchoStar Communication) as well as several private equity investors. The fact that SíTV lacked a parent media corporation shaped its development of a more aggressive and distinctive in-house production. In the first years of SíTV, Jeff Valdez produced shows such as Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (2004), The Drop (2004), The Rub (2004), Urban Jungle (2005) and Unacceptable Behavior (2006). However, the network also depended on other providers of English language programming geared to Latino audiences to fill its schedule. This was the case of independent producer American Latino TV, the production arm of AIM-Tel-A-Vision, which produced LatiNation and American Latino. Jeff Valdez left his production post in 2006 to direct Quepasa, a bilingual Latino-oriented website then, in 2007, joined Moctezuma Esparza at Maya Productions, a new independent production house. Valdez remained as chairman of SíTV until 2009 when he left the network. In 2011, SíTV was rebranded and named NuvoTV, and in 2012, Jennifer Lopez took over, and her production house, Nuyorican, assumed a larger role in the creation of news shows for NuvoTV. The network balances in-house and outside programming produced by other independent networks such as Original Media (e.g. LA Ink, Miami Ink, NY Ink; Stage 3 Productions with Curvy Girls), and 51 Minds Entertainment (House of Joy). As this article went to press the network was increasingly reliant on cable television programs showcasing Latinos in leading roles like Dexter from ShowTime, The Shield from FX, and Anjelah Johson from Comedy Central. NuvoTV uses a more mainstream programming strategy that targets not only Latinos but also English-dominant audiences in general.
While the marketing discourses of the new television networks and their television brands tout the ideas of bilingualism and an English savvy audience, this cultural-linguistic reality is clearly demonstrated by the bilingual continuum chart which provides “a general idea of the range of language mixing subsumed under the label Spanglish” (Sayer, 2008, p. 98). In this chart bilingualism is built across two opposing extremes from monolingual Spanish to monolingual English, with a variety of linguistic positions in between. Sayer uses the term superstrate (base or matrix language) to indicate the language that contributes more syntax and lexis explaining, “it is a sociolinguistic term used to describe the generator language of a Creole” (p. 98). The first line in Figure 2 provides the range of Spanglish, from a code-switching perspective, which includes the grammatical union of matrix and embedded languages (p. 98). The second line expands this range to monolingual Spanish and English because for some linguists Spanglish is broader than code-switching (p. 98). The new networks’ linguistic and cultural offering can be located within this continuum as illustrated in Figure 2.
Figure 2. The Range of Spanglish
Adapted from Sayer, P. (2008).
Figure 2 identifies how the bilingual networks position themselves within the linguistic spectrum. LATV has become predominantly a Spanish-oriented network with a strong reliance on the bicultural environment. NuvoTV has aggressively embraced an English-language only approach to Latinidad. Located in-between, with subtle but important differences, mun2 and Tr3s occupy a mostly bilingual approach in which mun2 relies more on Spanish and Tr3s on English, even though both employ Spanglish as their most distinctive characteristic.
Cultural Hybridity and Reality TV: From Mainstream to Niche Networks
Reality TV is a basic programming staple for young television audiences, and we found an important presence of it in the new bilingual networks’ offerings. The lineup of these networks offers a variety of reality TV (RTV) subgenres such as gamedoc, which focuses on competition; docusoap that follows the “real” lives of regular people or famous people; and makeover shows which aim to transform the physical appearance or improve the psychological well-being of individuals (see Murray & Ouellette, 2009; Orbe, 2008). Celebrity based shows are particularly prevalent on these networks.
In Tr3s’ programming lineup we find the docusoaps Quiero Mis Quince and Quiero Mi Boda. In these shows, both the cultural variety of the Latino experience in the U.S. and linguistic diversity are exposed as teenagers and brides, usually from the second or third generation, negotiate the preparation of these important social events with family, friends and distant relatives. Although focused on the cultural frictions right before the quinceañera or the wedding day (e.g. battles over the dress, cake or music selection), the shows offer representations of cultural hybridity that respond to the broader model of global multiculturalism promoted by MTV. Cultural clashes become more evident when the bride and groom belong to different cultural groups, sometimes forces the couple to conduct two wedding ceremonies to please each side of the family. In one episode aired in 2011, Juan, a Mexican-American born in Guadalajara, met strong resistance from the Indian parents of his fiancé Swati first to approve their wedding, and later to plan the ceremony. The bride’s father could not cope with the idea that it would not be an arranged marriage with an in-group member (“You know we always have arranged marriages in our families”). The groom’s mother could not accept that he would not have a Catholic wedding. The couple’s conversations are stressful because he is torn between her requests “this is between you and me and not our parents” and his mother demands (“Bueno Juan Pablo, te vas a tener que poner un poquito fuerte pues no todo puede ser la tradición de ellos. Y tu qué? Y tu familia qué? Y tus amistades qué? Y tu cultura qué?”). All dialogues between Juan and his parents and friends were presented in Spanish with English subtitles, while the statements from the Indian family were all in English with Spanish translations. However, when Juan narrates the story for the audience, he does so in English and Spanish subtitles appear. Code-switching flows throughout the show, allowing both English and Spanish speakers to follow the story. Juan’s pleas for cultural blending did not sit well with either family, and the couple resorted to having two different weddings enacting both cultural traditions. In spite of the stress they experienced, they concluded that this outcome would help them to achieve a successful integration in their married life.
The mun2 programming lineup is filled with productions already aired by Telemundo, such as telenovelas and series that are subtitled in English. Music television is central to the audience strategy with major emphasis given Caribbean and regional Mexican music. The latter expands beyond music videos to several reality shows in which the dialogues are bilingual but the music is generally in Spanish. Following the corporate strategy of Mexicanness (see endnote # 20), both mun2 and Telemundo have afforded high visibility to regional Mexican music in music videos, musical events, interview shows and other programs. The conflation between Mexican music and themes permeates the programming offered by both networks. For example right after Telemundo’s nightly newscast, there is a 30-minute segment featuring news from Mexico. Also, the prime time sports program Titulares y Más always showcases a Mexican singer or banda, usually playing norteño, conjunto or grupero music. Mexican music is also inserted in the telenovelas as part of the dramatic plot (e.g. Marido de Aquiler). The high visibility of Mexican music in mun2 and Telemundo programming allows for spaces of political agency and also disruption of typical industry definitions of what is or should be considered Latin music (Pacini Hernández, 2007). The reality show The Twiins portrays the efforts of the twin brothers Adolfo and Omar Valenzuela, born in Sinaloa and raised in Los Angeles since the age of 14, to transform their city into a production hub for regional Mexican music. The show not only highlights the crossover of several Mexican singers which became famous first in Southern California before conquering the Mexican market (e.g. Thalia, Paulina Rubio, Jenni Rivera) but it also gives insights into the profound transformations that have occurred in music production for Latinos. The Twiins navigate through the protagonists’ lives as they produce new hits, discover talent, prepare for upcoming concerts or radio interviews, and make dramatic business decisions. The brothers switch back and forth between English and Spanish changing the linguistic code throughout the show. Subtitles are included only for their statements in English. In a public relations release, mun2 declared that the show’s goal was to “put Mexican regional music front and center and take the experience beyond a half-hour Saturday show” (Martinez, 2010). Flavio Morales, senior vice president of programming and production, acknowledged that mun2 had to do some tweaking “as associating a brand with a genre that is often times related to drugs, violence and illegal immigration is no easy task” (Martinez, 2010). Some aspects of the Valenzuela brothers’ businesses, such as a controversial clothing line featuring shirts with images of guns and the names of drug lords, had to be eliminated. Twiins Enterprises has produced such successful artists as Paulina Rubio, Calle 13, Jenny Rivera and La Banda del Recodo in addition to other regional Mexican bands such as Los Buitres de Culiacán, Sinaloa, El Chapo de Sinaloa and El Komander, participants in El Movimiento Alterado, a musical trend related to narco music which started in Sinaloa, Mexico. As immigration issues surfaced in 2006, the brothers focused on producing pro-immigrant protest songs featuring the biggest names in the genre. As they posed it, “We decided we needed to get together to make a musical statement about what’s happening in this country” (cited in Kun, 2006).
Similarly, Larrymania, a reality show on mun2 centered on the life of singer Larry Hernández, also contains spaces to negotiate the immigration experience in the United States. Hernández was born in Los Angeles and raised in Sinaloa, Mexico, since age four. In season 1, episode 10, at a concert recorded live in Las Vegas , Hernández addressed the audience saying “A todos los gobiernos, y a todas las personas que están atrás de un escritorio haciendo leyes para no dejarnos trabajar, que ching….tu madre  Larry Hernández, who sings corridos, ballads and other genres such as bachata delivered record ratings to mun2 in 2012—the largest audience for any original program among adults 18-49 and the largest audience for any reality show premiere in key demographics, according to Nielsen Research. Commenting on the success of Jenni Rivera and Larry Hernández, the general manager of mun2, Diana Mongollon, stated, “they are business people and they understand the TV platform really well…it’s a win-win, for our brand but also in terms of what their goals are in expanding and launching new businesses” (Cobo & Cantor-Navas, 2013, p. 31). In this commercial manufacturing of a bilingual Latinidad, the networks are not only experimenting with language use, but also with cultural referents as to what constitutes Latinidad. Quiero Mis Quinces and Quiero Mi Boda always portray characters living in transnational and multicultural spaces in which the Latino/a character is always in tension regarding values, traditions and geographical spaces. In The Twiins and Larrymania, the central topic is using Mexican regional music as space for dialogue and internal cultural consumption among Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. This is one more site of the many spaces provided by Telemundo to strategically enact Mexicanness (see also Premios Billboard de la Musica Mexicana)
NuvoTV produces reality shows, but also buys a significant amount of programming. As discussed above, not having a parent company could put the network at a disadvantage as regards production costs. However, by being independent, the network can test more programming and be more adaptable to change from one season to the next. This is the case of the celebrity show Pastport that was broadcast for only one season in 2012 and was subsequently archived. In a series of six shows, NuvoTV explored the transnational connections that U.S.-born Latino celebrities have with their parents’ homeland. The shows used varying combinations of English and Spanish, depending on the competences of the artists and celebrities portrayed. The main focus was on children’s encounters with their parents’ culture of origin and the ensuing reflection processes when the main characters interacted with the new location. Language, cultural identity, family connections and reconnections are the main topics. The first episode presented the case of Nicole Di Rocco, owner and designer of Nicolita, an apparel and fashion industry located in California. Di Rocco was depicted during her first trip to Cuba in the company of her younger sister and her parents who had not returned to the island since Castro’s revolution. She wanted to explore “what  it really mean[s] to be Cuban, because that’s who I am.” Besides the emotional aspects of her parents’ re-encounter with the homeland, she reflects on how the trip will help her “figure it out what it is that I feel missing in my life…It’s like all these crazy emotions and feelings…I don’t feel complete, because I’ve never been.” Di Rocco also discusses the loss of Spanish and the peer pressure to not speak it at school ‘‘cause it’s embarrassing.” Her mother agreed, “that’s the peer pressure they felt on the school side, but we wanted to still keep our culture, which I felt [was] the only identification they had.” Nicole Di Rocco closes the episode reflecting on the importance of making the trip to Cuba: “What I found was myself…Now that I’ve been, I can embrace my culture and I can embrace my heritage. And now, I just, I really do feel complete.”
Carlos Alazraqui, an American actor, comedian, impressionist, voice actor and singer is featured in episode 3 of Pastport. Born to Argentinean parents in New York, Alazraqui moves comfortably in both languages and cultures. However, he acknowledges that growing up in Concord, California, “ a White suburban neighborhood,” nobody called him Carlos—“they called me Corlos sup, los man, Carlos.” He said his parents stopped speaking Spanish when he was a kid because the prevalent attitude at the time was, “you better not speak Spanish to your kids in the house because they’ll grow up with funny accents; they’ll have trouble learning English.” He says “growing up was a bit schizophrenic, Am I Argentine?, Am I American?, Who am I man?” Alazraqui highlights a sense of ethnic pride when he states that the biggest reason he goes to Argentina “is because I want my baby to be proud that he or she has a Latin American background. And then, when our baby is born, to bring them back again to say this is your people, this is your family, this is where you come from.”
The stories of Di Rocco and Alazraqui, which were mainly told in English with Spanish subtitles, share a core similarity with the other four celebrities presented in the series. They are all children of immigrants and they exist in transnational spaces in which they negotiate their bicultural identity. Family connections, language use, ethnic pride, sense of belonging, but above all, identity questions permeate these one-hour shows. The characters—all second generation immigrants—always examine their cultural hybridity and what it means to be American, Cuban, Argentinean, Colombian, Panamanian, Venezuelan and Puerto Rican. The series is available on NuvoTV’s website under the label “classics,” but as this article went to press it was not clear whether the network would develop another season.
The Latino media environment is changing at a fast pace, aided by the rapid growth of the Latina/o population (through both birth rate and immigration), which according to the 2010 U.S. Census grew almost four times faster than the U.S. population. In contrast with previous decades, the big driver of Latinos’ growth is births as immigration slowed following the economic downturn beginning in 2007. In 2012, almost a quarter of the nation’s births were to Hispanic women (Lilley, 2013). As a result of this population growth, Hispanic purchasing power is surpassing one trillion dollars (Waldman, 2012). This has triggered increased interest from corporations and media conglomerates eager to participate in this progressively more valuable Hispanic market. Both Spanish and English language media target Latinos and, in the 2010s, a group of networks have created a new hybrid proposal in which English and Spanish are mixed in their Latino-oriented programming. This linguistic strategy deviates from the monolingual Spanish-language networks’ traditional effort to target recent immigrants and their families. It also deviates from the mainstream media, which pursue assimilationist approaches in terms of language and culture. The bilingual networks are targeting the cultural and linguistic realities of many young Latinos who constantly move between two languages and operate in two cultural worlds. Language continues to be a cultural identity marker, but the networks have developed new strategies which focus not only on language, but the cultural hybridity that connects Latinos. As Fernando Gaston, the brand manager of Tr3s stated, “in the Hispanic world there is no division between English and Spanish…our programming is not based on language…it’s about what connects with our public” (cited in Cobo & Cantor-Navas, 2013, p. 29). We are witnessing the disarticulation of the traditional binary of English or Spanish language media, and the incorporation of linguistic variations that more closely reflect the acculturation processes of second and later generation Latinos, as well as the experience of immigrant children growing up in the United States. The battle is not over the language per se, because there is room for any combination of Spanish and English in the programming as we described above regarding the range of Spanglish. The competition is to create products that are culturally relevant to younger audiences, and each network is developing cultural and linguistic formulas that are likely to evolve over time. In an environment where the majority is bilingual and more than half of Latinos speak English very well, the use of Spanish “[is] not a clear-cut solution anymore” (Cobo & Cantor-Navas, 2013, p. 28). Broadcasting in Spanish is no longer a unique “profit of distinction” (Bourdieu, 2000) for the Spanish-language networks. Expanding the linguistic range carries implications not only for the TV industry in general, but also for Hispanic advertising firms which may find “new opportunities to compete with general market agencies to create advertising in English” (Chávez, 2014). The negative net migration from Mexico (in 2012) and the accelerating growth of U.S.-born Latinos have profound implications for marketers. The majority within this young population–the current mean age for Latinos is 27 years old–is going to be bilingual and bicultural. This is what is pushing the trend towards bilingualism, and consequently towards biculturalism, in the media.
The multichannel TV environment has opened new possibilities to target bicultural and bilingual Latinos through narrowcasting. While the programming at networks such as mun2 or Tr3s is shaped by the commercial goals of parent companies, the shows have created spaces for Latinos, whether as producers or talent, to exercise a certain level of agency—within the boundaries defined by the media structures. Such agency is defined by the very structures that have been set up for Latinos commoditization. In contrast, the commercial Latinidad presented by NuvoTV emerges from the efforts of an independent production house marked by the vision of its founder Jeff Valdez and the new leadership of Jennifer Lopez. While lacking a corporate parent places the network in a more precarious position, it also allows NuvoTV to more aggressively target English-speaking Latinos, bypassing Spanish to focus on cultural elements connecting younger generations. Across these networks, we found spaces for transgression and resistance within the analyzed shows. However, a more comprehensive comparative analysis, including the El Rey network, would provide a clearer picture of how language articulates with culture in Latino-oriented cable networks.
The efforts of global media corporations to reach young U.S. Hispanic acculturated and bilingual audiences mimics the processes of localization deployed for specific audiences around the world. In both cases, the corporations create opportunities to develop new hybrid cultural products. Even though the networks rely heavily on proven formats, media corporations such as MTV/Viacom and NBC/Comcast offer culturally-distinctive new content that departs from the English-only and Spanish-only language cultural routines in order to attract an elusive bilingual audience. These corporations are invested in the process of creating and shaping new markets based on their executives’ assumptions about the cultural and social character of their imagined audiences (Havens, 2002) while at the same time they work under a logic of profit maximization. With the exception of NuvoTV, these emergent networks depend on the programming, formats and expertise of their parent companies, which ultimately ends up shaping the varieties of cultural hybridity offered in their programs. However, the need to deliver programming that is relevant to bicultural-bilingual Latinos, albeit in the context of a highly commercialized process, offers areas of opportunity and visibility for a long-excluded sector of the Latino population. The fact that second and third generation Latinos have become the majority among U.S. Hispanics provides the context for larger representation in television. However, the representations, the genres in use, and the space they occupy in the programming mix are anchored to large discursive formations in specific social contexts (Mittell, 2001). In this study we focused on reality TV and music as the primary spaces to explore the perceived cultural hybridity of young Latino audiences. We found spaces of resistance, but we acknowledge that the manufacturing of a linguistic and cultural hybridity also provides opportunities to exploit Latinos’ commodified hybrid bodies for global consumption, as argued by Valdivia (2004). The emergent cable networks discussed in this paper are exploring which social, economic and cultural resources they require in order to challenge the hegemonic positions of dominant English and Spanish language networks. Instead of attracting audiences away from Univision and Telemundo, they have acted as the catalyst for these networks to embark on the larger project of conquering audiences in Spanish and English simultaneously to keep their hegemony. A more comprehensive study of the programs offered by the new networks should help us understand the cultural strategies deployed by each network, the new identities represented in the networks and the spaces for resistance available to Latinos.
 In this article we use the terms Latina/o and Hispanic interchangeably. We are aware that both labels have contested histories and that some scholars have criticized the term Hispanic for its economic and institutional origin (U.S. census-sanctioned category). However, as pointed by Dávila (2001), Hispanic/Latino are commonly used in the advertising/marketing industry as well as in Latino media scholarship.[ top ]
 Considered one of the pioneers in bicultural youth broadcasting, LATV was launched in Los Angeles, California in 2001 with a target audience of 12-to-34-year-old Latinos. Its initial identity of bilingual and English-language cable network has given way to a more Spanish-based programming. Since 2007, LATV is distributed throughout the United States and Puerto Rico; programming includes multi-genre music, film, entertainment, sports, drama series, variety shows, journalistic programs and infomercials.[ top ]
 Mun2 is a national cable network owned by NBCUniversal/Comcast Corporation, which is aimed at young Latinos. It was launched in 2001 as the sister network of Telemundo. Originally, the channel was called GEMS (launched 1993) which was known as the Latino version of Lifetime. The channel was rebranded in 2001 and its programming changed to attract both the Latino and the English language market. The network labels itself as “the preeminent voice for bicultural (YLAs) Young Latinos Americans” (Hispanic Tips, 2010), and “the lifestyle cable network for today’s cultural connectors (C2s)-bicultural Latinos 18-34”… “that amplifies the Latino experience…” (Mun2 cable, n.d.).[ top ]
 NuvoTV is the new name of SíTV, an independent production company launched in 1997 to create English-language Latino-themed programming. In 2004, SíTV became a cable television network catering to 18-to-34-year-old English speaking Latinos. In 2012, the network was relaunched as NuvoTV with a premier partnership with American entertainer Jennifer Lopez who is in charge of the creative production and marketing of the network through her production company Nuyorican Productions.[ top ]
 Tr3s is the localized version for U.S. Latinos of the global brand MTV, owned by Viacom. Tr3s describes its philosophy as the product of three cultures: Latin American, American and U.S. Latino. The network was launched in 2006, when MTV En Español evolved from a Spanish language musical channel to MTV Tr3s with a bilingual approach and was revamped in 2010 as Tr3s. The network is targeting 12-to-34-year-old bilingual Latinos with a pop-urban rock format.[ top ]
 Fusion is a news and lifestyle English-language cable network for Latinos and millennials (15-34 years old) launched as a joint venture between ABC News and Univision Communications. The network began broadcasting on October 28, 2013.[ top ]
 El Rey is an English-language general entertainment network, launched on December 15, 2013 by Robert Rodriguez in a deal with Comcast Corporation and Univision. El Rey targets second and third generation bilingual Latinos who speak English as their primary language.[ top ]
 Nielsen ratings for 2012-2013 indicate that during primetime, mun2 ranked third among the cable networks for Latinos after Galavision and Discovery en Español, with a daily average audience of 39,000 viewers. Tr3s was ranked eighth while NuvoTV did not make the listing.[ top ]
 Latino-oriented television is a broader concept compared to Spanish or Hispanic television. It includes all Latinos independently of their linguistic competences in Spanish or English. It is more inclusive of the cultural elements that connect the Latino populations in the United States, and comprises elements of the Latinidad identity category.[ top ]
 The U.S. Latino population grew 48 percent between 2000 and 2011. As of 2011, two thirds of Latinos were of Mexican origin (33.5 million), followed by 4.9 million Puerto Ricans, 2 million Salvadorans, 1.9 million Cubans, 1.5 million Dominicans and 8 million from other countries (see http://nbclatino.com/2013/02/16/latinos-in-u-s-reach-52-million-but-growth-is-from-births-not-immigration/)[ top ]
 The Spanish language network Galavision is still the dominant force in Latino-oriented cable television, and Mun2 which was ranked second has fallen to third place, outpaced by Discovery en Español and threatened by the growing popularity of Spanish-language sports networks. Tr3s occupies a distant 8th place in the ranking. NuvoTV does not appear on the Nielsen rankings (Piñón y Cornejo, 2014)[ top ]
 Azteca America, UniMás (formerly Telefutura), V-me, Estrella TV and Mundo Fox, joined Univision and Telemundo. None of these networks are pay TV networks—they broadcast over the air and rely on local TV stations, either owned or affiliated, to deliver their signals. Univisión, Unimás, Telemundo and Estrella TV have owned and operated stations as well as affiliates. Because Azteca America and MundoFox are restricted from owning TV stations, they rely on chains of affiliated stations across the country. Vme is based on a hybrid model, mainly relying on local PBS stations across the U.S. In many cases, the signals of these networks are transmitted through digital broadcasting employing subchannels.[ top ]
 We understand Latinidad as defined by Frances Aparicio, Angharad Valdivia, Isabel Molina-Guzmán, Laó Montes and Arlene Dávila. Latinidad is a “social construct that is shaped by external forces, such as marketing, advertising, popular culture, and the U.S. Census, and internally through the individual subjectivities and communal cultural expressions of people who identify as Latina/o” (Aparicio & Chávez-Silverman, 1997 cited in Molina-Guzmán, 2010, p. 3). We also subscribe to Laó-Montes and Dávila’s (2001) definition, which conceives Latinidad as an analytical concept functioning as an identity category, “a noun that identifies a subject position (the state of being Latina/o) in a given discursive space” (p. 3). As a concept, Latinidad is at the center of the construction of notions of cultural citizenship for ethnic minorities in the political project of multicultural societies. Media in general have an important role in the construction of discourses of Latinidad targeting regional, national and global audiences (Dávila, 2001; Molina-Guzmán, 2010).[ top ]
 The Venezuelan Miami-based investor group Cedetel acquired Vme in April 2013.[ top ]
 Acculturation refers to the process of adaptation to a new culture. According to Kim (2002), it refers to the dynamic process by which individuals, upon relocating to an unfamiliar cultural environment, establish (or reestablish) and maintain a relatively stable, reciprocal, and functional relationship with the environment. The process implies psychological and cultural changes that can expand over generations (see Berry, 2012). It can have harmful effects on bilingual children because the educational system forces them to choose between their native language and their host cultural language (Jackson & Hogg, 2010). Acculturation also implies that individuals must unlearn old norms associated with the original culture and internalize elements of the new culture (Jackson & Hogg, 2010). There are four levels in the acculturation process: assimilation, integration, separation and marginalization and not all individual acculturate in the same fashion. In this article we assume that U.S.-born children will have more contact with the U.S. culture than their immigrant parents, and their biculturalism is driving industry interests and decision-making.[ top ]
 Translanguaging describes the “multiple discursive practices in which bilinguals engage in order to make sense of their bilingual worlds” (Sayer, 2013, p. 68).[ top ]
 Derivatives of truck, leader, to watch and to park, respectively.[ top ]
 Term coined by the RAE for referring to words used primarily, if not exclusively, in the U.S. by Spanish speakers which have been accepted into the recognized lexicon (Bazán-Figueras & Figueras, 2014).[ top ]
 Telemundo initially pursued a U.S. Latino-based identity which also included Caribbean-oriented programming to distinguish it from the mainly Mexican programming offered by Univision (Rodriguez, 1999). However, in the 1990s, the network engaged in joint ventures with TV Azteca (1996) and later with the production houses of RTI in Colombia and Argos in Mexico to develop a sustainable production model. This led to the creation of a pan-ethnic model at their facilities in Miami, but that also strategically highlighted Mexican elements as crucial cultural markers. Mexican actors were positioned in key roles and were always surrounded by multinational casts. Rivero (2005, p. 179) discussed this strategy of including Mexicans within Puerto Rican fictional production on the island. Acosta-Alzuru (2009) indicates that this strategy is part of what scholars describe as the Miami and Telemundo models of production. Piñon (2014) argues that this strategy was originally developed as a production template for the U.S. Hispanic market, but it has evolved into a regional and global model for consumption. Currently, the inclusion of popular Mexican talent into Telemundo’s fictional programming is a central element in the appeal and success of the network’s shows.[ top ]
 I want my Sweet 15th http://www.tr3s.com/shows/quiero-mis-quinces-season-9/quincesglam/ [ top ]
 The traditional and formal coming-of-age party for a 15-year old girl in many Latin American countries.[ top ]
 Translation: OK, Juan Pablo, you are going to have to get a little bit more determined because not all [the arrangements] can be based on their traditions. What about you? What about your family? What about your friends? And what about your culture?[ top ]
 Translation: To all the governments and to all the people sitting behind desks making laws that don’t let us work, F…You).[ top ]
 Although targeting a younger audience, MundoFox, the newest Spanish-language broadcasting network still offers programming in Spanish. Its main providers are RCN and FoxTeleColombia—it has been importing Brazilian fiction from Rede Globo and Rede Record which is dubbed into Spanish.[ top ]
 A Pew Report from 2012 indicates that what had been the largest wave of immigration of Mexicans to the United States has come to a standstill as the result of several factors including the weakening of the U.S. job and housing markets, heightened border enforcement and a rise in the deportations. The United States has more immigrants from Mexico than any other country in the world (12.0 million) and about 30 percent of all current immigrants in the U.S. were born in Mexico (Passel, Cohn, & Gonzalez-Barrera, 2012).[ top ]
Acosta-Alzuru, C. (2009, April 23). Global media. MIT Communication Forum. Retrieved from: http://techtv.mit.edu/videos/16542-media-in-transition-6-global-media-mit-communications-forum.
Ang, I. (1991). Desperately seeking the audience. New York, NY: Routledge.
Ardila, A. (2005). Spanglish: An Anglicized dialect, Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 7(1), 60-81.
Anzaldua, G. (2007). Borderlands. La frontera. The new mestiza. San Francisco, CA: Aunt Lute Books.
Banks, J. (1997). MTV and the globalization of popular culture. International Communication Gazette, 59(1), 43-60.
Bazán-Figueras, P. & Figueras, S. (2014). The future of Spanglish: Global or tribal? Perspectives on Global Development & Technology, 13(1/2), 261-266.
Bean, F. D. & Stevens, G. (2003). America’s newcomers and the dynamics of diversity. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.
Berry, J. W. (2012). Acculturation. Encyclopedia of global studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Betti, S. (2011). El Spanglish en los Estados Unidos: ¿Estrategia expresiva legítima? Lenguas Modernas, 37, 33-53.
Bourdieu, P. (2000). Distinction: A social critique of the judgment of taste. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Burrows, S. (2010). Beyond the comfort zone: Monolingual ideologies, bilingual U.S. Latino texts. (Doctoral dissertation) Retrieved from: https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xmlui/handle/1794/10866.
Chávez, C. (2014). Linguistic capital and the currency of Spanish in Hispanic advertising production. Journal of Communication Inquiry, 38(1), 25-43.
Chávez, C. (2013). Building a “New Latino” in the post-network era: Mun2 and the reconfiguration of the U.S. Latino audience. International Journal of Communication, 7, 1026-1045.
Cobo, L. & Cantor-Navas, J. (2013, April 27). Defining and reaching the new Latin consumer. Billboard, 125(16), 27-31.
Dávila, A. (2012). Latinos Inc.: The marketing and making of a people (2nd ed.). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Dávila, A. (2000). Mapping Latinidad: Language and culture in the Spanish TV battlefront. Television & New Media, 1(1), 75-94.
De la Fuente, M. (2013, July 30). Univision to Big Four: We’re no. 1 and rising. Variety. Retrieved from http://variety.com/2013/tv/news/univision-to-big-four-were-no-1-and-rising-1200569566/
Del Moral, C. (2006, Septiembre 21). MTV Tr3s: La revolución bilingüe continúa. El Diario La Prensa. Retrieved from http://www.eldiariony.com/
Flores, J. (2000). From Bomba to hip-hop: Puerto Rican culture and Latino identity. New York. NY: Columbia University Press.
Flores, J. (1993). Divided borders: Essays on Puerto Rican identity. Houston, TX: Arte Público.
Flores, J. & Yúdice, G. (1990). Living borders/Buscando America: Languages of Latino self formation. Social Text, 24, 57-84.
Fung, A. (2006). ‘Think globally, act locally. China’s rendezvous with MTV.’ Global Media and Communication, 2(1), 71-88.
García-Canclini, N. (1995). Hybrid cultures: Strategies for entering and leaving modernity. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
Havens, T. (2002). “It’s still a white world out there:” The interplay of culture and economics in international television trade. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 19, 377-397.
Higgins, J. (2006, April 2). MTV makes bilingual music. Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved from http://www.broadcastingcable.com/news/news-articles/mtv-makes-bilingual-music/79489
Jacobson, A. (2011). Hispanic Market Overview 2011. Miami, FL: Adam R. Jacobson Editorial.
Jackson. R.L. & Hogg, M.A. (2010). Acculturation. Encyclopedia of identity. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Kim, Y. Y. (2002). Adapting to an unfamiliar culture: An interdisciplinary overview. In W.B. Gudykunst and B. Mody (Eds). Handbook of international and intercultural communication (pp. 259-272). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Kun, J. (2006, May 14). The Twiins: Mexican music, made in America. The New York Times. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/14/arts/music/14kun.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Laó-Montes, A. & Dávila, A. (Eds.). (2001). Mambo montage: The Latinization of New York. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
Levine, E. (2001). Constructing a market, constructing an ethnicity: U.S. Hispanic language media and the formation of a syncretic Latino identity. Studies in Latin American Popular Culture, 20, 33-50.
Lilley, S. (February 16, 2013). Latinos in U.S. reach 52 million but growth is from births not immigration. NBCLatino. Retrieved from http://nbclatino.com/2013/02/16/latinos-in-u-s-reach-52-million-but-growth-is-from-births-not-immigration.
Linton, A. & Jiménez, T. (2009). Contexts for bilingualism among US-born Latinos. Ethnic and Racial Studies,32(6), 967-995.
Mahmud, S. (2010, July 26). MTV rebrands Tr3s with sweepstakes, DM News, 32(14), 4. Retrieved from www.dmnews.com.
Martínez, R. A. (2013). Reading the world in Spanglish: Hybrid language practices and ideological contestation in a sixth-grade English language arts classroom. Linguistics and Education, 24, 276-288.
Martinez, L. (2010, March 17). Mun2 gives regional Mexican music center stage. Multichannel News.
Mittell, J. (2001). A cultural approach to television genre theory. Cinema Journal, 40(3), 3–24.
Molina-Guzmán, I. (2010). Dangerous curves: Latino bodies in the media. New York, NY: New York University Press.
Moran, K. (2011). Listening to Latina/o Youth: Television consumption within families. New York, NY: Peter Lang.
MTV Tr3s: Advertisers learn to speak Tr3s at MTV Tr3s upfront (2008, May 13). PR Newswire. Retrieved from: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/advertisers-learn-to-speak-tr3s-at-mtv-tr3s-upfront-57244272.html.
Mun2 Cable networks profile (n.d.). Cable Nation. Retrieved from http://www.thecab.tv/php/networkprofiles/networkprofile12.php?type=network&ID=57.
Murray, S. & Ouellette, L. (Eds.). (2009). Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture. New York, NY: New York University Press.
Orbe, M. P. (2008). Representations of race in reality TV: Watch and discuss. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 25, 345-352.
Ordoñez, J. (2005, May 30). Speak English. Live Latin. Newsweek, 145(22), 30.
Pacini Hernández, D. (2007). The name game: Locating Latinas/os, Latins, and Latin Americans in the U.S. popular music landscape. In J. Flores & R. Rosaldo (Eds) (2007). A companion to Latino studies (pp. 49-59). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
Padilla, A.M. (2006). Bicultural social development. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 28(4), 467-497.
Passel, J.S., Cohn, D. & Gonzalez-Barrera, A. (2012, April 23). Net migration from Mexico falls to zero—and perhaps less. Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project.. Retrieved from http://www.pewhispanic.org/2012/04/23/net-migration-from-mexico-falls-to-zero-and-perhaps-less
Piñón, J. y Cornejo, T. (2014). EE.UU.: La televisión hispana se expande a las redes sociales. En G. Orozco y M. Immacolata (Coords.). Estrategias de la producción transmediatica en la ficción televisiva en los países Iberoamericano. Observatorio Ibero-Americano de la Ficción Televisiva. OBITEL Anuario 2014. Sao Paulo, Brasil: Globo Universidade, Editora Sulina.
Piñón, J. (2014). Reglocalization and the rise of the network cities media system in telenovela production for hemispheric consumption. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 76(3).
Piñón, J. (2011). The unexplored challenges of television distribution: The case of Azteca America. Television and New Media, 12(1), 66-90.
Piñón, J. & Rojas, V. (2011). Language and cultural identity in the new configuration of the U.S. Latino TV industry. Global Media and Communication, 7(2), 129-147.
Piñón, J., Manrique, L., & Cornejo, T. (2013). USA: Looking for a younger audience: Rebranding of the Hispanic television. In G. Orozco and M. Immacolata (Eds.). Television Fiction and Social Memory. Ibero-American Observatory on Television Fiction OBITEL Yearbook 2013 (pp. 305-338). Sao Paulo, Brazil: Globo Universidade, Editora Sulina.
Portes, A., & Rumbaut, R. (2001). Legacies: The story of the immigrant second generation. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Rivero, Y .(2005). Tuning out blackness: Race and nation in the history of Puerto Rican television. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Rodriguez, A. (1997). Commercial ethnicity: Language, class and race in the marketing of Hispanic audience. Communication Reviews, 2(3), 283-311.
Rodriguez, A. (1999). Making Latino news: Race, language, class. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Rumbaut, R. (March 4, 2011). Bilateral perspectives on Mexican migration: Demographic, economic and incorporation trends. Conference presentation. University of Texas at San Antonio Mexico Center, San Antonio, Texas.
Sayer, P. (2013). Translanguaging, TexMex, and bilingual pedagogy: Emergent bilinguals learning through the vernacular. TESOL Quarterly, 47(1), 63-88.
Sayer, P. (2008). Demystifying language mixing: Spanglish in school. Journal of Latinos and Education, 7(2), 94-112.
Schodolski, V. (2004, December 26). Topics as hot as the food on SiTV, where eavesdropping is norm. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-126479760.html.
Stavans, I. (2000). The gravitas of Spanglish. Chronicle of Higher Education, 47(7), B7.
Valdivia, A. (2004, Spring). Latinas as radical hybrid: Transnational gendered traces in mainstream media. Global Media Journal, 3(4). Retrieved from http://lass.purduecal.edu/cca/gmj/sp04/gmj-sp04-valdivia.htm
U.S. Census, (2010). The Hispanic Population 2010. U.S. Census 2010. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-04.pdf
Waldman, M. (2012, May 1). Hispanic consumer market in the U.S. is larger than the entire economies of all but 13 countries in the world, according to annual UGA Selig Center Multicultural Economy Study. Terry College of Business, University of Georgia. Retrieved from http://www.terry.uga.edu/news/releases/hispanic-consumer-market-in-the-u.s.-is-larger-than-the-entire-economies-of
Wentz, L. (2009, June 8). Dr. Pepper learns how to speak a third language. Advertising Age, 80(21), 15.
Wilkinson, K.T. (2002). Collective situational ethnicity and Latino subgroups’ struggle for influence in U.S. Spanish language television. Communication Quarterly, 50(3), 422-443.
Wilkinson, K. T. & Saragoza, A. M. (2012). Cuando potencias hegemónicas riñen: Televisa vs. Univision Communications vista a través de una lente de gestión de medios. Global Media Journal México, 9(18), 16-34.