We recently had the opportunity to speak with Dennis N. Richard, CEO and founder of HombreTV.com, a broadband bilingual platform for Hispanic men. Mr. Richard has been involved in the television industry for more than 20 years; he was the executive producer of "The Premium Dollar Today," a television series focusing on insurance issues for consumers, and the creator and executive Producer of "Lawyers And The Law," a television series about lawyers and the legal system. He was the founder of The Insurance Broadcast System, a direct broadcast television network to the financial services industry, and is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Q. How did the idea for HombreTV come about?
A. There is no programming source or home for Hispanic men and HombreTV was developed to serve that need. Hispanics are a dynamically growing population and a very underserved demo that is in need of culturally-relevant programming. The motto for HombreTV programming is, "Programming with Pride." We found nothing that speaks directly to Hispanic men the way HombreTV does.
Our goal is to create an actual television network on the Internet. We feel that HombreTV is a "big idea" and something that is deserving of the look and feel of a network, and not just the look and feel of a website.
Q. Are there any studies supporting the assertion that Hispanic men are an underserved demo?
We have looked and found no third-party studies that have specifically gauged the fact that Hispanic men are an underserved audience. However, we have conducted over the last four years numerous fact-finding sessions with Hispanic men all with backgrounds from different Latin American countries, as well as here in the United States, and found that they are indeed unhappy about programming that is directed to them. We must remember that Spanish language television programming, and Spanish language websites for the most part skew females. We have also visited numerous websites and found no real source for male oriented programming. It is from this that we are very much convinced that HombreTV programming will find its way directly to Hispanic men. What I truly believe sets us apart from any other Spanish language media group is the fact that we continually go to Hispanic men (our targeted audience) and ask them the following question: "If you had your own network, what kind of programming would you like to see on it?" They usually respond to us by saying, "You're the first one who ever asked me that. I'm usually being told by the networks what to watch and what's on their networks is of little interest to me." We are continually searching and evaluating data about the needs likes and dislikes of Hispanic men when it comes to programming. They are the best source of culturally-relevant programming ideas for us and we intend to make them a big part of our programming strategy. I am always being asked my Hispanic men, "Do you really understand how big HombreTV is going to be?"
Q. What are the challenges to broadcasting TV shows on the Internet? What are the advantages?
A. Challenges are not to be minimized, but barrier to entry is significantly less than cable. This highlights the advantage -- ease of entry. The challenge is to accurately program culturally-relevant programming and to create awareness. As you know, programming on the Internet is not as long as programming on television. The majority of programming on HombreTV.com will be in the one to four minute range, with event programming like boxing and mixed martial arts and comedy and concerts being much longer. You must remember that the Hispanic demo on the Internet is young and bi-lingual, which means HombreTV will be in Spanish and in English.
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