Discovery’s Hispanic arm heads ‘North’

Group bowing original docu May 21

A year after Discovery created its U.S. Hispanic group, the division is moving into original programming with immigration docu “Objectivo: El norte” (Objective: The North), which bows May 21 at 9 p.m. on Discovery en Espanol.

“This is the beginning of a variety of shows,” said Luis Silberwasser, senior VP-general manager of Discovery Networks U.S. Hispanic Group.

Goal is to better serve auds, attract advertisers and build distribution.

Launched in 1998, Discovery en Espanol reaches only 7.4 million homes, of which about 3 million are Hispanic. Discovery Travel & Living (Viajar y Vivir) and Discovery Kids en Espanol rolled out last year.

The U.S. Hispanic group is endeavoring “not to replicate the U.S. general market channels,” Silberwasser said.

Discovery commissioned New World Video Prods. to produce “Objectivo: El norte.”

No English-language Stateside net plans to air the Spanish-language docu as yet, though Discovery Channel Latin America will pick it up for June.

The U.S. Hispanic group is in pre-production with Clear Image Prods. on “Sabor Latino,” which will showcase the chefs and dishes of Latin restaurants Stateside.

Execs are tapping into the original productions of the Latin American channels for the U.S. Spanish-language nets. And they are leveraging the efforts of the Latin American feevees (both groups are based in Miami). Promofilm has produced several episodes in California of “Mientras no estabas” (While You Were Out) for U.S. broadcast.

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