Skipper’s Meadowlark to Create Content for Spanish-Speaking Fans in U.S.

John Skipper’s Meadowlark Media is set to reveal a tactical collaboration with Ocellated Media later on today. The 2 business are connecting to produce Spanish-language audio and unscripted video programs for Latino sports fans residing in the U.S. The previous ESPN president described the choice to pursue non-English programs originates from an understanding that “the content available does not mirror the proportion of the population.” In spite of Latinos comprising about 19% of the overall population, a big part of whom choose to take in material in Spanish, reasonably little sports programs—especially in the method of non-live video game material—is provided in the language.

JWS’ Take: News of the official tie-up in between Meadowlark and Ocellated comes simply days after the 2 business revealed a cooperation, along with Skydance Sports, to produce a documentary about the competition in between the U.S. Male’s National Soccer Group and the Mexican National Group. The movie is anticipated to be launched prior to the start of the 2022 World Cup.

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Great Next-door Neighbors will not be distinguished an American or a Mexican viewpoint. Existing and previous members of both groups are taking part in the documentary, with each gamer talked to in his mother tongue. “We want it to play in both Columbus, Ohio, and Mexico City,” Skipper stated. By making a series that attract both fan bases (along with an international soccer audience), the Meadowlark/Ocellated/Skydance cumulative can widen its audience and by proxy, increase the worth of their job.

While Great Next-door Neighbors will include a mix of English and Spanish, the bulk of future Meadowlark-Ocellated cooperations are most likely to be done solely in Spanish. The overarching facility behind the collaboration is that the substantial Latino audience in the U.S., which is likewise “the fastest growing and youngest cohort,” is underserved from a sports material point of view, Skipper stated. The 2020 U.S. Census showed the Hispanic population grew 23% in between 2010 and 2020.

While the margin in between Latinos who take in material in English and those who choose it in Spanish is closing, as 2nd- and third-generation Latinos significantly look for material in English, Skipper stated in general, the demonstration “continues to prefer to watch sports in Spanish.” That might be due in part to the truth that the demonstration tends to view sports as a household and will typically accept the choices of their senior citizens. Spanish is the dominant language in 82% of Hispanic soccer seeing homes. By contrast, English is dominant in simply 13%.

Historically speaking, Telemundo and Univision have actually controlled the Spanish-speaking U.S. tv market (a minimum of in regards to rankings) and produced the bulk of sports-related programs for the demonstration. However Meadowlark and Ocellated aren’t attempting to unseat those giants. They are content service providers without their own platforms who see the facility as possible purchasers, not as rivals.

For a long time, Telemundo and Univision were the only feasible outlets for Spanish-language sports programs in the U.S. However over the last twenty years, the majority of the significant sports media outlets have actually presented Spanish-language spin-offs (think: ESPN Deportes, Fox Deportes). The recent emergence of global streaming platforms that have expanded into Spanish programming and several Spanish-language OTT players (including a new unified Televisa and Univision service, a combination of PrendeTV, VIX and Univision NOW, and Azteca TV) has also further expanded the buyer pool. Skipper said the current fractured media environment makes his company’s latest venture more viable than it would have been in the past.

Based in Mexico City, Ocellated brings a level of market expertise and authenticity to the partnership. It also gives the U.S.-based content studio the access it needs in Mexico (think: relationships with Mexican Football Association and Liga MX) to adequately serve the audience. Club Necaxa co-owner Sam Porter explained, “For Mexican Americans, the [Mexico] men’s national football team is easily the biggest and most widely supported sports institution there is. The team draws tremendous ratings and generates nine figures of revenue. [And] Liga MX is the biggest sports league in terms of interest, ratings, attendance and cultural significance.” It is worth noting that about 2-thirds of Latinos in the U.S. are of Mexican descent.

Ocellated comes with in-house production capabilities, too (which Meadowlark does not have actually). And as Skipper pointed out, “Production services in Mexico are quite efficient and significantly less expensive, so on selective projects we’ll take advantage of that.”

That includes their newest podcast collaboration. As part of today’s announcement, the two companies will also introduce a new daily Spanish-language sports, entertainment, current events and sports betting podcast, to be hosted by Jorge “El Burro” Van Rankin (a well-known Mexican TV personality). The new pod is expected to complement Meadowlark co-founder Dan LeBatard’s daily show stylistically, with its bold, humorous tone, and from a network perspective. “We will not have to build [the audience] from scratch. We can use Dan’s show to help launch [the “El Burro” show] and [to] get it an audience. And over time we think we can develop a fairly significant audience in,” Skipper said. LeBatard, a Cuban-American, produces his show out of Latin-American centric Miami.

If Meadowlark and Ocellated can gain traction with the show among Mexican-Americans, Skipper said to look for the two companies to replicate the model and “build [out] some other Spanish-language podcasts around the world.” Insider Intelligence data suggests there are a number of emerging LATAM markets quickly growing their podcast listener base (see: Brazil +19.8% in 2021, Argentina +17.8% in 2021 and Mexico +13.6% in 2021).

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.