ESPN Launches New Show Aimed at Bilingual, Bicultural U.S. Hispanics

“Nación ESPN” is a prime example of the increasing importance of the U.S. Hispanic audience—and why major corporations like ESPN are making it a top priority.  

On Monday, September 26, ESPN premiered Nación ESPN, a program created specifically to connect with bilingual, bicultural U.S. Hispanic sports fans.

The show is hosted by a trio of bilingual ESPN personalities (Jorge Sedano, Bernardo Osuna, and Marly Rivera) and much of its content is fueled by viewer input on social media. Notably, the program has a Hispanic perspective and is fluid when it comes to language.

In this press release announcing the show, ESPN stated:

Nación ESPN will offer content that is relevant and engaging to a broader audience while including unique points-of-view that reflect the Hispanic sports fan. Although the show will be produced in English, guests will be free to communicate in their language of preference—Spanish or English.”

Reflecting Evolving Multicultural Lifestyles & Interests

ESPN has focused on the U.S. Hispanic population for over a decade with its Spanish-language ESPN Deportes brand, which offers content via television, web, radio, print, and mobile apps. But the network could not ignore the number of bilingual and bicultural Hispanics in the U.S. and their increasing influence in the marketplace.

Nación ESPN is a fusion of the two popular ESPN shows: SportsNation, which is broadcast on the network’s flagship station, and Nación ESPN, which is broadcast in Spanish on ESPN Deportes. The new show serves as something of an in-between, spotlighting the voice and perspective of the bicultural U.S. Hispanic audience.

Freddy Rolón, vice president and general manager of ESPN Deportes states in the ESPN press release: “Nación ESPN will speak to the audience in a way that resonates with their evolving multicultural lifestyles and interests.”

Reaching a Young, Growing, Bilingual Audience

While ESPN’s new program is groundbreaking in the sense that bilingual programming in the U.S. is rare, like many U.S. businesses the network is simply responding to the evolution of its audience. Across the board, U.S. Hispanics are growing in population and influence.

As this article from The Guardian about Nación ESPN states:

“The US-Hispanic audience is the youngest ethnic group in the country and according to the Pew Research Center, 79% of Latino families speak both English and Spanish at home.”

To overlook Hispanics today is to miss out on a massive portion of the population—and the opportunity for building relationships that will enable organizations to grow and excel in the future. That’s why more and more brands are seizing new opportunities to reach this audience.

One of those brands is Toyota, the official sponsor of Nación ESPN. This press release from last year notes that Toyota has been the number one automotive brand in the Hispanic market for 10 years.

Providing a Voice that Resonates with Hispanics

When it comes to customer communications today, speaking to U.S. Hispanics in an authentic way that reflects their specific reality can make all the difference.

As Julio Ricardo Varela writes in the post What it means to be a truly bilingual, bicultural Latino sports fan:

“A strange yet joyous thing happened to me as I watched the debut of Nación ESPN last Monday: I realized that when it comes to the sports media I consume as a native Spanish-language English speaker, I was always a fan who could never be boxed into a simplistic Spanish-only or English-only rigidness. And for the first time in, like, ever, I was watching three ESPN personalities who all happen to be Latino, just talking sports —no matter the language, no matter the context.”