Upfronts: A Review

Below are the most important announcements from major Hispanic networks at last weeks TV upfronts.

  • Discovery

Headlining the network’s upfront schedule are several blockbusters and specials including HUMAN PLANET, a high-definition epic celebration of humankind as well as EARTH FROM SPACE, which brings audiences face to face with a unique view of the world in a project filmed in partnership with NASA. Historic moments near and far are brought to life in spellbinding productions such as THE RISING: REBUILDING OF GROUND ZERO, a documentary series by the legendary Steven Spielberg and REIGN OF THE DINOSAURS a voyage back millennia, courtesy of Disney and Pixar.

Discovery en Español is also unveiling a number of impactful original productions such as NARCOSUBMARINOS, 11 DE SEPTIEMBRE, and a new series spin-off of the highly acclaimed MARAS special, MARAS THE SERIES.

“Discovery en Español’s consistent record demonstrates the network’s staying power. The compelling story lines and quality of our programming has an undeniable appeal that has positioned us in the # 2 slot among all Hispanic cable networks in primetime,***” said Luis Silberwasser, SVP and General Manager, Discovery Networks U.S. Hispanic Group. “Discovery en Español combines the best programming available from across Discovery’s portfolio of networks with a robust slate of original programming that tell stories on real world issues facing Hispanics today.”

  • ESPN Deportes

ESPN Deportes enters the 2010-2011 Upfront Season with continued focus on revolutionizing the way sports are covered on Spanish-language television. The network, which earlier this week announced the launch of its first studio show to be produced from Los Angeles, is unveiling a series of additional initiatives, highlighted the acquisition of marquee soccer programming and the introduction of a new prime-time newsmagazine.

Among the studio shows we will find ESPN-Investiga (working title), which is committed to long-form investigative sports journalism, led by ESPN Deportes personalities Jorge Ramos, José Ramón Fernández and David Faitelson.

Nación ESPN, an original Spanish-language, culturally relevant sports television show fueled by fan interaction and focused on fun.  It will inform, interact, and amuse, to serve fans with the information they want.

About the events, ESPN has acquired Spanish-language radio rights to Copa América, the South American Football Confederation’s main national team soccer tournament. ESPN Deportes Radio has also launched in the San Antonio market, the eighth largest Hispanic market in the U.S., on 103.1 FM as ESPN Deportes Radio KHHL F.M and will air the Jungle Fight Championship, based on Brazil, a Mixed Martial Art Competition.

  •  Fox Sports

The Spanish-language sports brand completed its first-ever Upfront national tour after taking a custom branded mobile theatre, which doubled as a traveling billboard, to four cities across the country.  The interactive events included a multimedia presentation inside of the vehicle, surprise performance by acclaimed Latina comedian Monique Marvez, an outdoor cocktail party with stadium-themed food and competitive games and the launch of the network’s annual scavenger hunt.

Fox Sports en Español unveiled an array of developments, including new original programming, the continued rights to prestigious sporting event properties, and new and customized ways to get advertisers’ brands in front of the consumer.  All FSE programming will be available in HD.

Key highlights from the network’s 2011 programming include the return of exclusive Spanish-language rights for prestigious international soccer properties such as UEFA Champions League and Copa Santander Libertadores, InterLiga, Major League Baseball regular season, League Championship and World Series, Top Rank Boxing and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).   Adding to the stable of original programming, Fox Sports en Español has also recently launched La Hora de Cuauhtemoc Blanco and the daily interactive show, Tribuna Fox Sports. The new GolTV HD channel will be the country’s first HDTV network offered simultaneously in Spanish and English.  

  • Telemundo

“Producing and owning our content has allowed us to embrace changing technology, create partnerships with clients and advertisers and use our international reach and multi-platforms to grow with our rapidly expanding Hispanic audiences." Said Browne at Telemundo. 

Eventos Telemundo brings Telemundo’s programming to life through grass-roots marketing consumer events such as talent tours and the highly popular Club de Noveleras, where fans are able to interact with their favorite novela stars.
The network also will provide viewers with opportunities to engage in real-time social media viewing experiences on Telemundo.com connected with Twitter, Facebook and mobile devices as they watch Telemundo’s primetime novellas as
El Fantasma de Elena (Elena’s Ghost), Casanova Sin Amor (Loveless Casanova), A Corazón Abierto (An Open Heart) and La Reina del Sur (The Queen of the South).

Mun2 announced two new series for the 2010-2011 season, From Beyond and Jenni Rivera Presents Chiquis and Raq-C.  

The network also announced the yet-to-be-titled, scripted production which will mark the first-ever joint venture between mun2 and Telemundo Communications Group. 

  • MTV

 MTV announced at its May 19th 2010 Upfront that it will amplify its US Hispanic offering to appeal to a wider spectrum of the Latino audience. The newly named Tr3s: MTV, Música y Más will expand its offering to deliver a broader scope of content. As part of this strategy, Tr3s will align and build synergies with MTV Networks International’s (MTVNI) US Hispanic & Latin American operations in Miami under the leadership of Sofia Ioannou who will expand her remit as Managing Director of MTVN Latin America & Canada to include US Hispanic.

“MTVNI's mission is to take world class content and creative and deliver in culturally and geographically relevant ways – Tr3s is the latest example of this,” said Bob Bakish, President, MTVNI.

Tr3s will increase its original productions and key acquisitions, as well as tap into MTVN’s vast library of content around the world to focus on three key lifestyle aspects of Latinos – Music, the heart and soul of Latino life , Making It with success stories of Latinos achieving the “Latino American dream”; and Milestones featuring stories that capture their rights of passage and coming of age.. New properties include “The George Lopez Show”, Lucha Libre: USA Masked Warriors”, “Mis Videos Locos with Paul Rodriguez” and telenovelas “Juegos Prohibidos” & “Niñas Mal”, as well as new seasons of hit series "Mind of Mencia", “Casado con Hijos”, “Quiero Mis Quinces” & “Quiero Mi Boda”. The network will also broaden its offering to teens to include Nickelodeon shows such as “Drake & Josh” and “Brothers Garcia.”  

  • V-ME

"V-me continues to be the national alternative for America's Latino families AND for sponsors who want to connect with them,” said Carmen DiRienzo, V-me President and CEO. “Our infront approach allows us to showcase targeted opportunities around our 2010-2011 offer, which is filled with engaging multi-platform programs and creative solutions that put V-me everywhere our viewers are."

The prime entertainment includes El Quinto Mandamiento (The Fifth Commandment) – a compelling contemporary detective mystery set in and around Vatican City. Rex – The crime-fighting dog who has been a ratings winner across Latin America and around the world. Hay Alguien Ahí (There’s Someone There) – New episodes of the first paranormal drama on US Spanish TV. Cuenta Atrás (Countdown) – New episodes of the high-energy police drama. Plus a new docu-reality series Desafío en Himalaya (Himalaya Challenge), and the series En Pantalla (on Screen) and Estudio Billboard.

V-me taps into Hispanics love affair with food, babies and pets with original hosted lifestyle series, V-me Cocina and V-me Planeta. About news and affairs you can find Jorge Gestoso Investiga, Oppenheimer Presenta and V-me Noticias. 

  • Univision

Univision Communications Inc. is presenting the 2010-2011 programming line-up for its three television networks and interactive platforms. “As part of our commitment to embrace the evolving needs of our viewers and clients, Univision Communications announced more than 20 new programs across our platforms,” said Conde.

Univision novelas promise to once again captivate viewers like no other, “Eva Luna.” The very first Univision Studios production in collaboration with Venevision, “Eva Luna” is a modern love story full of romance, passion and suspense about Eva González, a successful advertising executive. From Televisa International: “Soy tu Dueña” (You Belong To Me). “Mar de Amor” (Sea of Love). A timeless love story unfolds in a breathtaking setting, Playa Escondida. “Zacatillo, Un Lugar en Tu Corazón” (Zacatillo, A Place in Your Heart). “Llena de Amor” (Big on Love). A modern-day ugly duckling story. 

The weekly Primetime Series: “Cuna de Lobos” (Cradle of Wolves). “Los Exitosos Pérez” (The Successful Pérez’). The Reality “Mira Quién Baila” (Look Who’s Dancing). Univision Studios, in co-production with Endemol, presents a dancing reality competition. “Desafío: La Gran Batalla” (The Challenge – The Big Battle) Univision Studios and BETV team up to create a grueling reality competition where a group of contestants are stranded on a tropical island with just the bare necessities.

The Specials, “Bicentenario” (Bicentennial). Commemorating 200 years of Mexican independence, this is a once in a lifetime event that will make “Cinco de Mayo” seem like an afternoon tea party. “Divas Latinas” (Latin Divas) and “El Gran Show” (The Big Show), “Llévatelo Todo” (Grab It All).

  • Telefutura 

The programming for Telefutura includes: Novelas as “India.” The recipient of the 2009 International Emmy® Award, “Doña Bella” (Beautiful Lady), “Rosario Tijeras.” and “Regreso a la Guaca” (Return to the Guaca).

About the Movies In the 2010/2011 season, TeleFutura is excited to add the following titles to what is already the largest Hollywood film library on Spanish-language television. Starting with blockbuster hit “Angels and Demons” (Tom Hanks), “The Bourne Supremacy” (Matt Damon), “Hancock” (Will Smith, Charlize Theron), “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl” (Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley), among others. 

The specials: “Quiero Ser Estrella” (I Want to Be a Star) and “Diciembre Mágico” (Magical December).  

  • The Galavision Network

“El Peso del Matrimonio” (Back in Wedding Shape). Galavisión, in collaboration with RM 5to Elemento/Zodiak Entertainment, presents an entertaining reality show where two people who have been married for several years find themselves with a lot less energy.

“Detrás del Saber” (In Search of Knowledge). A show where information and entertainment collide, fast-paced and entertaining show.  

“Allá Afuera” (Out There). Spanning the realms of adventure, science and exploration, “Allá Afuera” will capture stories from new frontiers, told from the first-person perspective of filmmakers, visionary researchers and explorers, writers and photographers. 

  • Univision Interactive Media 

Univision Interactive Media’s recently launched “Novelas y Series” channel (www.NovelasySeries.com) features a wide variety of popular novelas, including high quality original programming from Univision Studios. Novela fans will fall in love with new programs featuring full-length and short-form online and mobile programming, like the groundbreaking “Eva Luna” and the highly-anticipated original webnovela “No Me Hallo.”

Univision’s Music site (www.UnivisionMusica.com) provides an all-access pass for fans to connect with their favorite artists through exclusive In-Studio sessions and cross platform music concerts.

The comprehensive Univision Fútbol site (www.UnivisionFutbol.com) delivers access to passion-filled professional leagues and tournaments worldwide. Starting now, soccer fans can get nonstop online and mobile coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ and Univision networks will now be the exclusive U.S. home of the Mexican National Soccer Team, with rights to all of their qualifying matches for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.