The NBC Universo cable channel has grabbed a piece of television’s hottest drama franchise, setting a deal with AMC Networks for rights to Spanish-dubbed episodes from “The Walking Dead’s” first three seasons.
The episodes will begin airing on a weekly basis in primetime early next year. NBC Universo pursued the deal with AMC Networks as part of its makeover of the younger-skewing cabler previously known as Mun2.
That effort has included securing rights to Spanish-langauge versions of series that have traditionally performed well with Hispanic audiences, including “Prison Break,” “South Park” and Syfy’s “Battlestar Galactica.”
“Our goal is to create a channel that has a great combination of big sports, tremendous entertainment that has an American sensibility and connects with Latino passion points,” NBC Universo president Ruben Mendiola told Variety. “We asked ourselves ‘What would be the most exciting series that we could acquire and bring to the Latino community in America? ‘The Walking Dead’ was the answer.”
NBC Universo has dug into the TV vault of NBCUniversal for programs such as NBC’s “Law & Order,” USA’s “Suits,” Syfy’s “Warehouse 13” and “Eureka.” But the deal with AMC Networks underscores NBCUniversal’s commitment to investing in programming for its Spanish-language cable outlet. NBC Universo also is ramping up its production of original scripted series outside of the telenovela format, with several edgy offerings slated to bow next year.
“The Walking Dead” has been a big hit in Latin American markets for Fox International Channels, which has a broad licensing pact with AMC Networks and Entertainment One for international rights to the series.