Friday, February 20, 2009

British Network looks for Hispanic viewers

BBC Extends Spanish-Language Service in U.S. With MSN Pact
Laura Martínez -- Multichannel News, 2/18/2009

BBC World Service's Spanish-language service,, is extending its presence in the Hispanic market by forging a regional alliance with MSN across Latin America and the United States to provide Spanish-language content online. The 2-year agreement, whose financials were not disclosed, includes audio, video clips and text news carrying information from BBC and BBCMundo.

Carlos Villalobos, BBC business development manager for Latin America, said the two services complemented each other perfectly. "They have the platform, and we have the content," he said. launched in 1999 and is one of the BBC World Service's 32 services tailored for various regions and languages. The Spanish-language site offers news programs, breaking news coverage, interactive debates, video on demand and audio news bulletins, registering approximately 5 million unique visitors each month.

Of the total visitors, said Villalobos, about 30% come from Mexico, but already up to 15% of total traffic originates within the United States. "This is quite amazing, considering we do very little in the form of promoting the site," he said. Content on is free to the users, and, as is the case with other BBC content, is not supported by advertising.

The MSN partnership is not new to BBC. BBC text content has been available since 2004 on MSN/Prodigy Mexico, MSN Brasil and other MSN Latin American sites. The new arrangement, however, expands the content on a regional basis to all MSN Spanish sites for the Americas, including MSN Latino.

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