Multiple platforms has been one of the hottest topics at broadcast and cable network upfronts this week. Tepid might be the word at Univision.
The Spanish-language media conglom touted its ability to serve advertisers via TV, radio, cable and Internet with cross-platform promos, but Univision prexy Ray Rodriguez was noncommittal about the group’s emerging media strategy.
“It’s not a big priority for us,” Rodriguez told journos at a post-presentation press conference. “Basically, our concentration is elsewhere.”
As in years past, the schedules on the TV properties — the Univision network, second broadcast net Telefutura and cabler Galavision — rely heavily on the output of Mexican media giant Televisa, which supplies Univision under a long-term programming agreement.
Last week, Televisa confirmed that it had partnered with a group of equity firms that will bid for Univision. Televisa and Univision are suing each other, alleging violations of the programming supply accord.
Unsurprisingly, Rodriguez was tight-lipped about the relationship with Televisa. He did acknowledge that Univision’s ability to develop online content is problematic: “The technical reality is that we are in a dispute about who owns the rights (to online),” Rodriguez said.
Weeknight primetime on the flagship Univision from 7-10 p.m. remains filled with Televisa sudsers. Highlighted productions include the Mexican remake of the RCN hit “Yo soy Betty, la fea,” called “La Fea mas bella,” which bowed on Univision last month and will continue through mid-October.
In the first original reality show on the flagship net, Univision will produce Stateside “Belleza Latina,” a reality-style beauty pageant to run at 7 p.m. Sunday night. Viewers will vote for the best-looking and most interesting candidate.
“Belleza” will lead into another reality show, this one from Televisa. Univision has already mined ratings gold via Televisa’s dancing competish “Bailando por un sueno.” The new take is “Cantando por un sueno,” a singing competish that replaces the record contract prize with the chance to fulfill someone else’s dreams. Rodriguez suggested that Televisa may incorporate U.S. contestants in the Mexican production.
In other new initiatives, Telefutura will see a Spanish-language version of Fremantle’s “Family Feud” and will add yet another edition of the successful “Idol”-like song competish “Objectivo fama” that gives U.S. contestants a chance to win a recording contract with Univision music.
Cabler Galavision also is showing a strong commitment to reality genres for its 2006-07 season, including the U.S.-based show “Mision: reportar,” in which 10 contestants across the U.S. vie for a position as a reporter for a range of Univision shows.