ESPN Deportes lands its own ‘Dream Job’

Spanish sports net to launch reality skein

MIAMI — U.S. Spanish-lingo sports net ESPN Deportes will launch its own version of ESPN’s popular reality series “Dream Job” this fall.

And ESPN plans to make ESPN Deportes Radio a full-time national network. ESPN will provide programming, while ABC Radio Networks will handle ad sales, affiliate sales and marketing.

Announcements were made at ESPN’s upfront presentation Wednesday in New York.

In the show (working title: “Dream Job: Reportero”), aspiring sportscasters will compete for a chance to win a job covering the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

ESPN Deportes will hold regional auditions in cities with large Hispanic populations, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Miami.

The auditions will be recorded and featured as segments during Sunday evening editions of ESPN Deportes SportsCenter.

As on “Dream Job,” contestants will compete against one another in a series of “on-air” tasks, such as anchoring a studio show, acting as a sideline reporter, conducting interviews and calling play-by-play. Their performance will be voted on by a panel of judges consisting of ESPN Deportes on-air personalities and producers, as well as a selection of athletes.

At the end of each show, viewers at home will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite contestants via ESPNdeportes.com or by wireless text messaging.

“ESPN Deportes Dream Job” is the “first sports reality show for the Latino audience in America,” said Len DeLuca, ESPN’s senior vice president of programming strategy. “It’s a natural evolution for ESPN Deportes to serve our Latino fans.”

The sports net began as a programming block and expanded to a 24-hour net in January 2004.

On the radio front, KWKW 1330 AM in Los Angeles, owned by Lotus Communications, has signed on as the flagship radio station for the new network. ESPN Deportes Radio will also launch on affiliates in Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.; Tucson, Ariz.; and Bakersfield, Fresno and Pomona, Calif., ESPN said.

The radio net will include sports talk and event programming, including exclusive, national Spanish-language broadcasts of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, League Championship Series and the World Series.

ESPN Deportes Radio will also partner with Lotus Communications for coverage of Mexican soccer with the exclusive broadcasts in the U.S. of all Chivas home matches starting with the 2006 season. Rolando “El Veloz” Gonzalez, longtime radio personality and official radio voice of the Chivas, will join ESPN’s radio talent roster.