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Televisa launches Internet portals

Mexico's top broadcaster debuts archive portals

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s top broadcaster Televisa launched a pair of Internet portals Friday that are designed to open the online floodgate to the conglom’s vast library.

On the entertainment/infotainment side, they are launching TVolucion.com . In addition to entertainment news, the latest episodes of sudsters and a slew of current content, the web will eventually provide access to Televisa’s entire library of telenovelas and original series as well as Mexican cinema from its golden age to the more recent nueva onda films — some 500,000 hours of content — on demand with no charge.

The films, under the category Retro TV, are full-length and digitized especially for the portal. Each film is labeled by which countries have rights to the material. There are currently 90 films, but Televisa Digital prexie Juan Saldivar said there would soon be nearly 700.

Saldivar explained at a press conference that some content may take a while to upload due to a variety of complex rights issues arising — one of which is simply finding rights holders themselves.

A second portal at televisadeportes.com will also feature live Mexican soccer, along with coverage of a wide range of international sports, including NFL, NBA, pro baseball, European league soccer along with news, calendars and statistics. The site will also allow users to watch any game in the season as well as classic soccer contests and watch the world’s greatest soccer goals viewed from any angle using a specially designed virtual viewer.

A deal involving the Apple iPhone, currently only available via Mexico’s no. 1 mobile provider Telcel, will help users to interact with the new sports portal.

Saldivar gave an overview of the sites Thursday, adding that the broadcaster will add approximately 2,000 videos a week until everything in the archives is available.

The web also worked with actor/director/producer Pedro Damian and indie shingle Muchasmentes to produce an original series of 26 five-minute webisodes.

Titled “La Doble Vida,” the series follows a young cast of characters whose lives are challenged by the freedom and sometimes isolation of their online lives.

“We’re making content directly for Internet users,” said Damian. “Getting into the Internet is different than TV or film, as it is the most democratic media that exists.”

He explained how the characters would have “real” online lives with blogs and personal Youtube videos, with viewers encouraged to interact with the characters.

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