You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Telemundo teams for Mexican TV biz

Web pacts with holding co. over content, investments

NBC Universal’s U.S. Hispanic web, Telemundo, has partnered with Mexican holding company Grupo Xtra to form two companies: one for the production of television content and the other to explore investment opportunities in Mexican TV.

Estudios Mexicanos Telemundo will be ramping up production of telenovelas and other genres by the fourth quarter of this year, according to Telemundo prexy Don Browne.

Grupo Xtra, founded by Isaac Saba Raffoul in 1993, is a holding company with businesses in tourism, real estate development, finance and textile.

Telemundo had been producing telenovelas with Mexico City-based indie prodco Argos; that collaboration likely will continue on a per-project basis.

Browne and his team were in Mexico City to look at their real estate options, among other issues. Company is looking to retrofit an existing structure.

“Setting up a studio in Mexico City is another stepping stone toward making Telemundo a global Hispanic channel,” NBC prexy/chief operating officer Randy Falco told Daily Variety.

Through its studios in Colombia and Miami, Telemundo churns out 20,000 hours of programming, making it the second-largest producer of Spanish-language programming after Mexico’s media giant Televisa. Its original novelas have been ratings hit in territories including Spain, Colombia and Venezuela.

Browne, who marks his first year as company prexy next week, has no qualms about Televisa’s virtual stranglehold on writing and acting talent in Mexico.

“We have had so much success the past year that we have no trouble attracting talent,” he said.

NBC parent GE was shut out by Mexico’s No. 2 net TV Azteca in taking a stake in the bankrupt Canal 40, a small UHF station in Mexico City. Forced off air since last May due to a workers strike, Canal 40’s signal turned back on in February under Azteca control.

Palmas 26, controlled by Grupo Xtra, seeks to enter the Mexican television market. For this purpose, and in strict compliance with Mexican legislation, “We have invited Telemundo to participate as a minority investor in ‘neutral’ shares, subject to the approval of relevant Mexican government regulators,” said Grupo Xtra VP Manuel Saba.

“Having a new television option would contribute immensely to the growth of Mexico,” he added.

More TV

  • A still from Leaving Neverland by

    'Leaving Neverland' Director Open to Potential Sequel to Controversial Michael Jackson Doc

    Ahead of its March 3 premiere on HBO, “Leaving Neverland” director Dan Reed tells Variety he is open to creating a follow-up to his controversial four-hour documentary revolving around sexual abuse allegations against Michael Jackson. If, that is, he would be able make contact with the King of Pop’s earlier high-profile accusers, Jordan Chandler and [...]

  • Roadside Attractions Acquires Drama Pilot 'The

    Roadside Attractions Acquires Drama Pilot 'The Golden Cage'

    Roadside Attractions Television has acquired one-hour drama pilot “The Golden Cage.” Described as a female-driven Wall Street thriller, the project hails from writer Oskar Nordmark. Darryl Taja (pictured) will serve as executive producer through his Epidemic Pictures. Adam Rodin will also exec produce. Nordmark created the series and will serve as co-executive producer. Roadside Attractions’ [...]

  • Hulu Adds Another Interactive Ad: This

    Hulu Adds Another Interactive Ad: This One Lets You Get Offers Via Email

    Hulu lets its subscribers choose the show they want to see. Now the video-streaming service is increasingly letting users choose to respond to certain commercials right away. A commercial from Sleep Number, the manufacturer of the bed with an adjustable mattress, that has run on Hulu for the past several weeks allows viewers to request [...]

  • George Clooney’s ‘Catch-22’ Sells to Asia

    George Clooney’s ‘Catch-22’ Sells to Asia and Australia (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Catch-22” has caught the interest of several big-name global buyers. Chinese streaming platform iQiyi, Australian SVOD service Stan, and HBO Asia are among the latest to acquire the Hulu adaptation of Joseph Heller’s novel, which is produced by and stars George Clooney. Paramount’s TV distribution unit struck the new deals for the series, which will [...]

  • Colin Farrell Dumbo

    Colin Farrell to Star in Andrew Haigh's BBC Thriller 'The North Water'

    Colin Farrell is set to star in “The North Water,” the BBC thriller that will be directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Andrew Haigh (“Lean on Pete”). Based on Ian McGuire’s novel, the four-part series is being adapted by Haigh and produced by See-Saw Films for BBC Two. Set in the U.K. and in the Arctic [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content