Maribel Ramos-Weiner, Editor PRODU Hispanic Television
■ Celebrating 15 years
Fifteen years have gone by since we launched the first edition of the PRODU Hispanic Television magazine to cover the emerging TV and video market in the US. A great deal has happened during that time, and now, more than ever, the Hispanic market has proven its importance and resilience, adapting to a new reality in stoic and innovative ways.
It has created everything ranging from open and pay TV channels, reinventing itself to produce under the new safety and health regulations dictated by the pandemic, to streaming platforms, whose growth has been exponential in times of crisis and that have generated a disruption in the traditional TV ecosystem.
We are loyal believers in this market’s potential and bet on its growth in upcoming years. Thank you for being with us these 15 years and the best is yet to come!
■ Atresmedia channels offer great strength in VOD
The offer in Spanish in the US Hispanic market has not reached its limit yet, according to Mar Martínez-Raposo, Director of Atresmedia Internacional and there is huge growth potential for the portfolio's channels. “We have a great deal of strength in linear channels and VOD offer. It is true that not all operators offer VOD in Spanish, but it is growing increasingly, and in particular with Atreseries, we have great strength. It is happening in other markets such as Chile, Colombia and Mexico. Channels have to be that additional complement. In US Hispanic it will also happen,” she stated.
■ RCN Televisión redoubling efforts on HD and VOD
"In difficult times is when we must be stronger. At RCN Televisión we are redoubling efforts to attract more and better content to our US Hispanic audience. Our signals are already available in HD and we have a great deal of content for VOD, complementary to our linear signals,” explains Julián Giraldo, EVP, RCN International.
■ It is necessary to enhance the role of Hispanics in the US
“It is the moment to celebrate the history of this country and sadly sometimes people forget that 100 years before the arrival of the English colonizers, Spanish was spoken here. This was part of Mexico and of Spain. I believe we must always remember this part of our history and that Hispanics'role in this country's success must be extolled. There have been countless Hispanic heroes, not only in wars, but in the economic development and thought leadership of this country,” expressed Cynthia Hudson, SVP and General Director of CNN en Español and Hispanic Strategy for CNN/US.
■ Every day is Hispanic Heritage Month for our business
Condista manages the distribution of Spanish language networks in the US. “Every day is Hispanic Heritage Month for our business since we are focused on the Hispanic market 24/7,” said Jorge E. Fiterre, Founder and President of Condista. He adds that the Hispanic market in the US represents diversity and Condista is focused on providing diversity, specifically in programming. From an OTT distribution perspective, Fiterre shares that Condista Labs—which offers a portfolio of media services to process and deliver content to operators and platforms throughout the U.S. and Latin America—continues to establish partnerships. Clients include: Totalplay, Hemisphere Media Group and CinepolisKlic, among others.
Jorge E. Fiterre
■ Entertainment industry lives an important moment
According to Luis Villanueva, President and CEO of SOMOS Group, the entertainment industry is going through an important moment in many senses. “We have proven how key we are for consumers and their families, and that those who can prove their capability to make the most of these conditions are assuring a good future. With our clients in all the companies, we offer daily proof that we are moved by common and long-term interests. Our industry has all the technical and human talent for a successful adaptation. We are indispensable for an informed society that needs quality entertainment for everybody,” he stated.
■ Sabbatical produces project that tells the story of Hispanics in the US
“The Hispanic audience is very important for us, they are our roots and a powerful cultural force. We are producing a project that tells the story of Hispanics in the US until they became a determining factor in the results of the upcoming presidential elections and in the future of this country,” announced Miguel Somoza, CEO of Sabbatical Entertainment, who in these months of pandemic has not stopped creating, developing and producing pieces. He mentioned that they developed the conceptualization and production of a special series for children that spans from guiding them in their return to classes to learning how to live this new normal.
■ U.S. Hispanic is critical for any brand looking for growth
According to Carrie Stimmel, EVP, Lifestyle & Hispanic Ad Sales, NBCUniversal, due to scale, influence and impact, engaging U.S. Hispanics is critical for any brand looking for growth. “With our One Platform business model, marketers can look across Telemundo and the complete NBCUniversal Platform to reach Hispanic viewers everywhere they watch. This audience is a business imperative for everyone, and we work with every brand, agency and partner individually to identify the specific strategies that will lead them to achieve their goals,” commented Stimmel.
■ LuxIII Pictures producing three films
The independent production company LuxIII Pictures, centered on Hispanic content and founded two years ago by Patrick Pérez Vidauri and Cristina Nava, closed an agreement with Financier Grandave Capital to write, produce, and direct three films. One of them is the romantic comedy In Other Words (directed by Pérez Vidauri and written by Nava) that will be released this month on VOD and digital platforms such as Amazon Prime Video and on US cableoperators; and in HBO Latino in February, 2021.
Patrick Pérez Vidauri
■ More than 200 executives make up the Jury of the PRODU Awards 2020
More than 200 industry executives have become jury members of the
PRODU Awards 2020, to take place in the context of MIPCancun.
The diverse jury is comprised by prestigious producers, distributors and open TV, paid, and digital platform programmers, who will evaluate the originality, creativity, execution, and accomplishments.
Carried out by PRODU in alliance with Reed Midem, they are the only awards of the industry for the industry of Latino entertainment.
■ Hispanic TV adapts to the new normal
US Hispanic open and pay TV channels are adjusting to operate under the new conditions imposed by the pandemic in what is considered the new normal. Ranging from flexibility in the transactions with their advertisers to producing under strict healthiness and safety criteria, Hispanic channels are reinventing themselves: more hours for news, redesign of sets to enable social distancing, personnel working, editing and producing remotely when conditions allow this, and expansion of distribution on streaming platforms
President, Telemundo Global Studios
Telemundo: Entertaining and informing following safety protocols
To maintain the connection with its audience in the new environment, “Telemundo remains committed to bringing the best entertainment and latest news and information to our audience during these challenging times. We launched a new daytime show En Casa con Telemundo, successfully wrapped up production of La Voz, resumed taping Exatlón and our soon to launch Super Series Falsa Identidad. We have also continued broadcasting live all our daytime shows and even increased our news content,” commented Ronald Day, EVP Entertainment, Telemundo Network. “In an abundance of caution and according to company protocol and CDC guidelines, we have implemented new measures that protect the health of our employees. These measures have allowed us to resume filming and wrapping our shows 100 Días para Enamorarnos and Falsa Identidad,” added Marcos Santana.
VP, Programming and Brand Strategy at Univision
Univision: Innovating with cutting-edge technology
Elisa Segovia, explained that they are seeking new ways to innovate and make use of cutting-edge technologies, such as the use of virtual audiences, VR, among others, to always offer the community the best they can. “We are taking several measures to ensure our capability to continue offering national and local news that our community depends on. We continue to produce and broadcast our entertainment programming uninterruptedly, including Despierta América and El Gordo y La Flaca, NBL, El Reencuentro, and Sal y Pimienta. For those employees considered essential for production, our offices and studios are cleaned and disinfected intensively and deeply every day. Those who can work from their homes continue to do so until further notice,” she adds. Through Univision Brand Labs they offered exclusive and unique activities for clients like Bud Light Seltzer, Coca-Cola, Mondelez International and T-Mobile during the first awards program in this new age, Premios Juventud.
CEO & General Manager, ¡HOLA! TV
¡HOLA! TV redefines production teams and maintains the advertising investment
One of ¡HOLA! TV's greatest challenges has been to maintain the advertising investment, especially the first months of the pandemic “when the interruption of all activities in each one of the countries prevented the initiatives we traditionally work with, related to tourism, events, luxury... Luckily, the situation allows us to regain certain drive,” comments Marcos Pérez. He explained that they have bet on remote work in the areas that allow it and have redefined the production teams to be able to comply with social distancing. In La Hora ¡HOLA! they introduced the segment Motívate con ¡HOLA! TV, in which through different topics, they offer the audience advice to be able to cope with the new reality in a positive and efficient way.
VP of Sales & Strategic Partnerships, LATV
LATV: The key to the success is scheduling
“The key to our success in adapting to the new normal at LATV has been in scheduling. We’re able to accomplish the same high quality of work as before by staggering teams and allocating the right amount of time for things such as safety checks, sterilizing, and distancing,” said Andrés Rincón. He added that each conversation with his partners and potential advertisers starts with flexibility. “The current times require us to evolve and to act quickly. We are committed to being more agile in terms of our content strategy. Also, we are all about being solution-driven. This is a strategy that has been working for us not only to retain current investments but to quickly grow advertising investment levels across our TV and digital platforms,” he added.
VP of Sales - Pay TV, Cisneros Media
VePlus: Monitoring and adjusting work mechanisms
“When you work for a panregional signal like VePlus that caters to all the Spanish-speaking countries and the US, it is necessary to constantly monitor and adjust work mechanisms. At Cisneros Media we are totally committed to our audience, affiliates, advertisers, human team and talent,” expressed Carlos Cabrera. He says that the programs have successfully migrated to productions “from home”, which has enabled them to maintain the freshness of their screen. He mentioned that they are working together with advertisers to offer them the flexibility they need. He added that they are developing new franchises together with Mobius.Lab that allow them to adjust to the new reality, maintaining VePlus' entertainment value and its production standards.
COO/CFO, Estrella Media, Inc.
Estrella TV: An unprecedented reinvention of the workflow
Brian Kei, explained that, because of Estrella TV’s nimble organization and ability to quickly adapt, the company embarked on an unprecedented reinvention of its workflow due to COVID-19 to continue producing and operating seamlessly as they transitioned to a remote working model. He highlighted that Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento got a set redesign and facelift to reflect newly adopted social distancing standards. The new set replaced a live studio audience with innovative screens to accommodate a live virtual audience. Another major response was the addition of three special national newscasts. He added that Estrella TV is expanding its streaming footprint and they already have agreements with fuboTV and Xumo, with new launches planned for other OTT platforms in the near future.
Joe Schramm, President of Schramm Marketing Group
The focus of the Hispanic television business has shifted significantly in the 15 years since PRODU started covering the market. Previously, the objective was to reach as many Hispanic households as possible. More recently, the trend was to make Hispanic TV available to any individual who wants to watch it, thanks in part to the advent of connected and streaming TV platforms, as well as the influx of video devices. Advertisers supported this growth. Today’s trend is to create content that is inclusive of each ethnicity and nationality within the Hispanic population. Hispanic TV’s next trend? Attracting more “first-time” brand advertisers. Hispanic TV just keeps getting better. Learn more at the Hispanic TV Summit, online Sept 21-24.
Luis Guillermo Villanueva
Contemporary and diverse content in every genre
SOMOS Next's OTT offer features contemporary and diverse content in all the genres: movies, series, documentaries, and children's. “We are differentiated by our online price with the conditions of this market, the number of hours we offer and our launching policies. We are client-oriented, which is key to problem solving and we have tech support so we can remain competitive,” commented Luis Guillermo Villanueva, COO of SOMOS Next.
Personalized experience for the soccer fan
Matías Rivera, CEO & Founder of Fanatiz, highlights that they are the only platform that allows the soccer fan to personalize his experience and access his favorite teams when and where he wants. “Along with having the most competitive price and quality content, at Fanatiz we prioritize ease of access to the content and user experience so he can watch the team he loves, when and where he wants,” he explains. He mentioned that they have been able to respond to soccer fans' growing demand, whom, after such a long time without any matches “have been able to live the passionate definition of LaLiga, of Italian soccer, and who now enjoy another first-rate global league such as Brasileirao.”
Fresh premium content entirely in Spanish
Mario Almeida, VP of Programming, Development, and Acquisitions at Pantaya, highlighted that what makes Pantaya different from other platforms is that they “don't want to have everything for everybody. Our mission is to have fresh premium content entirely in Spanish for our audience that is loyal and daring”. He added that the business is always evolving, but good stories continue to be the main key above everything else.
A content library for all the audiences
According to Marco Nobili, SVP Strategy & Emerging Business, VCNA, what differentiates Pluto TV from other streamers is that it has a library with more than 18,000 hours of content for all the audiences, “hosted on a simple, easy to use and, above all, free platform! The content is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and offers a very friendly experience, enabling in a single step to change between linear TV and programming on demand”. He added that the huge content offer now covers an array of genres that ranges from films and series to entertainment shows, documentaries, and children's content.
A new multi-platform experience
According to Marcel Granier, President of Empresas 1BC and RCTV, RCTV's recently launched app offers a new multi-platform experience, “that allows engaging users with the most iconic TV channel in Venezuelan TV for more than 60 years, pioneer of telenovelas worldwide, which today continue awakening audiences' interest everywhere.” Stemming from a digital ecosystem of over seven million followers, they reach real people with innovative concepts through original and successful content, news and real-time information, and live content. The app enables users to share stories internally, participate in contents and surveys, and give his opinion on an Inside-Chat. In the first 60 days, 300,000 followers joined and the average use is 2.5 hours per person.
Simplification and multiple ways to watch
Gidon Katz, NBCUniversal Direct-to-Consumer President says that Peacock is tapping into what a lot of people are looking for by allowing access to a robust catalog of free, premium content for everyone in the family. “Peacock offers a massive library featuring many of the best movies and shows of all-time, as well as live news, sports, reality, Spanish-language and much more. The range of content –from Noticias Telemundo to George López to Larrymanía to Celia– makes the offering comprehensive,” he explains. He added that Peacock is truly unique because it brings together everything consumers love about television: simplification, aggregation of choices, and multiple ways to watch, and brings them all together in an seamless and affordable way.
Betting on expansion
The US Hispanic market has been important in the expansion of VIVOplay, managing to penetrate with the brand and its original productions. Carlos Hulett, founder and CEO of VIVOplay, explained that they are currently focused on the launch of their vMVPD VIVOplay Multicanal in Latin America, which started in September in Venezuela and will soon progress throughout the entire region. “VIVOPlay Multicanal is the first entertainment and information virtual cableoperator that in a single and economic package takes the best of Latin American pay TV to homes without installation costs of any sort,” he added. He furthered that streaming is an industry that is in the midst of expansion and gaining market. “This has been a year of great growth due to the quarantine and mobility restrictions that have appeared due to the COVID-19 pandemic”.
A service with distinctive European voices
For nearly 30 years, Castalia has forged a track record of successfully launching new media ventures worldwide. “We have decades of direct experience doing it all –content design, production, distribution, transmission, encryption, advertising and more. We provide unparalleled expertise in delivering regionalized multi-cultural programming to new markets and customers. And we are now proud to be launching Europa+, an OTT service with distinctive European voices,” said Luis Torres-Bohl, President, Castalia Communications. “We provide programming that makes Europeans living and working in Latin America feel more connected to home and less isolated while they’re away. Similarly, for individuals with European roots or a passion for all things European, we bring them programming and cultural touch-points they don’t get from typical Hollywood or local content, but which nonetheless, has tremendous affinity with Latinx audiences and sensibilities,” added Rubén Mendiola, COO, Europa+.
An offer with depth of content
According to Rafael Urbina, CEO of VIX, the main difference in their streaming service is their approach to serve “the huge Latin American market and, consequently, the depth of contents we offer, with more than 20 thousand hours of programming available on the platform. Additionally, our social reach and original contents help us generate brand and loyalty”. He explained that in these months, VIX has been consolidated as the #1 entertainment app in Android in Mexico and other markets. They have also witnessed a big rise in installing and consumption in Connected TV. He mentioned that the streaming market is barely beginning and that in the future, most video consumption will be streaming on-demand.
■ New interstitials for Hispanic Heritage Month
Semillitas designed some interstitials in house for Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrating the Spanish language that unites all US Hispanics. “The clips mention where Spanish is spoken, how many people speak Spanish around the world, they say that Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world,” explains Valentina Verde, Channel Coordinator at SOMOS TV. Verde recalled that December 7 this year Semillitas will celebrate its 10th anniversary. She added that the channel offers 14 of Free VOD content to its subscribers per month. Other interstitials created recently are Back to School and Let's Take Care of the Planet. “We are proud to compete with big, established brands and for the cannel to be doing so well and growing,” she ended.
The channel celebrates the Spanish language
■ Celebrating its 15th anniversary
As part of the celebration of their 15th anniversary Mexicanal continues developing and producing new and original content, including shows such as El Auto de Mi Vida, a documentary that presents vehicles and their original owners, and Ahí Viene el Toro, a sports analysis program focused on the world of jaripeo, as well as the new seasons of Las Cantinas de Cornelio and La Liga Mexicana de Jaripeo. “We are in the process of strengthening collaborations with producers in Mexico and the US that will make the screen of Mexicanal more varied and entertaining for another 15 years,” expressed Demian Torres-Bohl, Sr Executive Producer, Mexicanal.
El Auto de Mi Vida
■ Producing capsules on Hispanic heroes for Vme Kids
“The Hispanic market is of utmost importance, it is our target audience. We seek to enrich its audiovisual consumption experience with relevant and captivating content. We produce original content for the Month of Hispanic Heritage, including capsules for Vme Kids exploring the lives of our Hispanic heroes,” expressed Michael Fernández, VP of Marketing, V-me Media. He added that they created alliances with HITN for the broadcast of informative capsules on the coronavirus with several OTT platforms to be able to offer their channels. “As a content provider we must be present in these offers,” he detailed.
Vme Kids launches capsules exploring the lives of Hispanic heroes
■ Hispanics are a community in expansion
“Hispanics are a community that is in expansion in the US, there are almost 60 million of us. We have many strengths, traditions, and stories and a great deal to contribute to this country. HITN Learning’s mission is to give parents valuable tools and promote educational success of Hispanic families,” commented Natalia López, Associate Product Manager, HITN Learning. For this season, HITN is launching programs such as El Doctor en Casa, Nuestro Cuerpo, it is adding an hour to the segment Vida y Salud and the fourth season of Estudio DC with Gerson Borrero. The space is launching a podcast series available on Spotify, Radio Public and Lisbsyn, in conversation with José Serrano, elected representative for the city of New York; Xavier Becerra, Attorney General of California, and Nydia Velázquez, elected representative for New York.
Estudio DC con Gerson Borrero
■ Hispanic audiences are particularly critical to the US pay TV market in 2020
beIN SPORTS XTRA is airing great Latin American talents like Chicharito and Messi to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. “Hispanic audiences are particularly critical to the US pay TV market in 2020, given not their traditional viewership loyalty but, more importantly, their unrelenting fandom when it comes to the consumption of live sports events. In a year impacted by COVID-19 across all genres of entertainment, this loyal segment serves not only as a catalyst for subscriber retention/growth but also as a conduit to advertisers looking to reengage a uniquely fragmented marketplace that is now gaining momentum,” commented Roy Meyeringh, VP Business Development and Affiliate Sales at beIN SPORTS. Recently, the channel secured renewal agreements with its major partners and has ongoing discussion to grow both traditional and virtual platform distribution. The company launched beIN SPORTS XTRA on SelectTV, Redbox and TiVo with others to follow suit shortly.
The Locker Room
■ The Hispanic market is key since it was the first one that allowed us to grow
For SOMOS Group the US Hispanic market is key. “It was the one that allowed us to grow and was key in the financial aspect, as well as for the standards that enabled us to compete in other markets. In terms of products for content distribution and production, it offers many opportunities, since it expresses the trends that are later reflected in the international market due to the influence of technology and the caliber of the competitors,” highlighted Luis Villanueva, president and CEO of SOMOS Group. The SOMOS TV channels ViendoMovies and Semillitas celebrate The Hispanic Heritage Month with relevant messages on the air, as well as promotions and launches that reflect Hispanics´ contributions to the US culture.
ViendoMovies celebrates Hispanic heritage
Canal 22 Internacional
■ Programming alliance with France 24
Canal 22 Internacional established an alliance with France 24 for the broadcast of a programmatic one-hour block.
“We are pleased to add a one-hour block with well-curated content from France 24 to our daily programming grid. We are sure this collaborative initiative will be well accepted by our audience and will allow us to amplify other voices as we offer the audience different experiences of the cultural reality through our new storytelling that will refresh our programmatic offer,” detailed Orissa Castellanos, Director of Canal 22 Internacional.
Esto es Francia
■ Meeting point of Colombians and Latinos in general
Caracol Internacional was born in 2006 as part of the company´s strategy to expand their scope to markets and audiences outside the country. “The originality of their stories, their experience in content making and their capability to inform were internationally proven and this was one step further in the right direction. Caracol is present in the most important operators and has managed to become the meeting point of Colombians and Hispanics that enjoy an updated, modern, entertaining channel with the best quality information from Colombia and Latin America,” states Alejandro Bernal, manager of New Channels and Film at Caracol Television.
Alejandro Bernal, manager of New Channels and Film at Caracol Television
■ Free ad-supported television platforms are new and growing
“The US Hispanic market is one of the most rapidly growing segments in the country. It is an incredibly important, and in some ways, untapped market for us. Sony Pictures Television got into the market with Cine Sony and we wanted to build on that with these new free, ad-supported offerings in the Sony Canal portfolio,” highlights TC Schultz, EVP, Networks Operations, Programming & Strategy, SPT. Until now, Sony Canal consists of three Spanish-language channels focusing on distinct genres: comedies, competition series, and telenovelas. He added that free ad-supported television platforms are new and growing. “We are excited to reach viewers through Vizio, Plex and other platforms as we move forward,” he ended.