Net sets 'Diez,' first fiction series

ESPN Deportes, the leading Spanish-language sports web in the U.S., is launching its first-ever original scripted skein in the fall.

“El Diez” (The Ten) is a 10-episode drama that tracks a pro soccer player who joins the big leagues in Mexico City. “Ten” refers to the number worn by soccer greats Pele and Diego Maradona, which the lead character, played by Mexican crooner-thesp Alfonso “Poncho” Herrera, aspires to earn.

Herrera is the lead singer of RBD who starred in the hit telenovela based on the group, “Rebelde.”

“We’re the first among ESPN’s international channels to venture into scripted series,” said Juan Alfonso, VP of international marketing and programming development. Alfonso is in talks for product placement with various companies for the series.

Created by Mauricio Quintana, skein will be shot in digital HD in Mexico City and aired across all ESPN Deportes Northern Latin America platforms, including the U.S.

Supplemental content such as interviews and behind-the-scenes footage will be provided on ESPN Deportes platforms including mobile, online and broadband on demand.

ESPN Deportes will unveil “El Diez” and other new shows at its upfront presentation on Tuesday. These include primetime newsmagazine “E: 60,” which is modeled after ESPN’s “E:60.”

“E:60′s” content will be distributed across multiple ESPN Deportes platforms, including ESPNdeportes.com, ESPN Deportes Radio, ESPN Deportes La Revista and ESPN Deportes Movil. The show debuts June 13.

ESPN Deportes is the most-watched Spanish-language sports network in the U.S. where it currently reaches 5.3 million households. ESPN Deportes is now available in 41% of all U.S. Hispanic households and 49% of Hispanic multichannel households.

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