A look at last weeks Hispanic Upfronts and the offerings of the main networks.
When Tom Maney, SVP of Advertising Sales at Fox Hispanic Media took the stage Wednesday at noon to introduce the group's newest network to over 900 attendees, he started by revealing a relevant nugget of data: "My department did a little research, and it concluded that -by now- you have been exposed to about 320,000 hours of upfront presentations," Maney joked.
The figure might be a tad overblown, but it is true that the week that kicked off Monday May 14 was a hectic one to say the least for Hispanic marketers, advertisers and everyone else working in the Hispanic market. Portada was among those exposed to hours of presentations, and picked up some interesting bits and pieces of the three-day extravaganza.
MundoFox, the startup network launching in partnership between Fox and Colombia's RCN has settled on mid-August as launch date. Citing a 70% distribution achieved through a series of affiliates in 8 of the nation's top 10 Hispanic markets, MundoFox will launch with a mix of entertainment, action teleseries and a Los Angeles-based newscast to air daily. MundoFox has yet to sign an affiliation deal in New York City but Hernán López, the President and CEO of Fox International Channels, says he is confident a New York City affiliate will be signed by launch. "New York is a very competitive market, but we are already in talks with five potential affiliates," he said. Distribution aside, MundoFox unveiled its programming lineup, that includes a combination of teleseries, telenovelas and weekly series created originally in Spanish. Program titles include: El Capo, Kdabra, Corazones Blindados, Minuto para Ganar, Allá Te Espero, Santísimas, Los Pobres Ricos, El Joe and Amo de Casa.
Univision returned for second time to the New Amsterdam Theatre for a presentation that opened with the now ubiquitous Sofía Vergara, and concluded -somehow abruptly- with a one-song performance by Shakira. Over a little more than one hour, Univision executives unveiled the network's programming, but took the opportunity to tout its three recently launched cable nets and the upcoming English-language news service in partnership with ABC's Disney. Continuing with a renewed partnership that kicked off last year, Televisa and Televisa programming were featured prominently in the Univision event.
Telemundo on Tuesday night renewed its commitment to original productions, saying it will produce 900 hours of new content, or 40% more than in the last season. Among the productions it is working on, Telemundo announced the upcoming premiere of “El señor de los cielos,” an action-packed telenovela starring Rafael Amaya as Mexico’s infamous drug dealer Amado Carrillo. Also in the works: a sequel of "La Reina del Sur," which earned the title of becoming the highest-rated telenovela in Telemundo’s history.
ESPN Deportes also used the week to unveil its 2012-2013 programming and multiplatform initiatives, including the upcoming launch of ESPN Deportes+ por ESPN3, a digital vertical that will offer live sports in Spanish on a multiscreen network. Such programming is to be available on computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox. Network executives touted ESPN Deportes+ as a viable destination, reaching approximately 7.7 million Hispanic households. In addition to new original programs, ESPN Deportes said it will air almost 80 World Cup qualifiers and other international matches.
Vme held a presentation at the Instituto Cervantes, touting a "Television Diferente" (Different Television.) The presentation was the network's sixth since its launch and the first under a new general manager, Álvaro Garnica, who took over after Carmen DiRienzo resigned. For the first time also, Vme pitched hard its advantage as a public television station, something Manuel Polanco, Chairman of Prisa Television, said is an important differentiator for the network. "It is going to take a lot of education, and letting people know what public television is all about," he said. But this 'public television' aspect, did not stop the network from making a strong pitch to potential advertisers, with Court Stroud, Vme's recently appointed managing director of national sponsorship sales and corporate underwriting, making it clear that opportunities lay beyond the TV screen: “Beyond the entitlements, Vme’s offer includes display ads, mobile and online content, e-blasts, co-branded research studies, online contests and promotions, microsites, local market activations and creative vignette productions.”
Wendy's has signed on as title sponsor of Viacom's Tr3s: MTV Música y Más' new talent competition, Dame un Break. Through the deal, whose financials were not disclosed, Tr3s is asking Latino aspiring artists to submit their material directly on dameunbreak.tr3s.com. Contestants have until June 18 to submit material and the voting period for the finalists will run from July 2-16. A winner will be announced in late July. "The deal calls for Wendy's to include its brand in all of the branding materials as well as product integrations into the official music video," says José Tillán, general manager of Tr3s.
Overall, among all the names, programs, initiatives and sponsorships, Colombian pop singer Juanes emerged as the King of the Hispanic upfronts, making "exclusive" presentations at events held at Univision Deportes, Estrella TV and closing up with a Tr3s party Wednesday night.