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NBCU’s Telemundo Sets Streaming Deal for Telenovelas with DramaFever (Exclusive)

Pact encompasses 1,000 episodes of library shows for ad-supported and subscription platform

Telemundo Media has cut its first licensing deal for library content covering distribution of 1,000 telenovela episodes to DramaFever, an online-video service that has specialized in Asian TV shows and movies.

Starting this month and ramping up in January, DramaFever will offer Telemundo’s original programming with English subtitles on its website and mobile apps to its 10 million monthly unique viewers worldwide. The first titles to be made available include older eps of “Una Maid en Manhattan” (pictured), “Alguien te Mira,” “La Casa de al Lado” and the U.S. version of “Dónde está Elisa?”

“What we are really looking at with this partnership is to super-serve the telenovela fans, to understand their needs and behaviors,” said Peter Blacker, Telemundo’s executive VP of digital and emerging businesses.

The deal will bring the Spanish-language fare to DramaFever’s current fan base for Korean soaps — an audience, Blacker said, that Telemundo’s research has shown knows no borders. “There is a very passionate binge-viewing audience around this content,” he said.

SEE ALSO: How to Build a Better Telenovela

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Telemundo has cut a nonexclusive 12-month distribution pact with DramaFever with a renewal option. The companies are in the process of determining which of the 1,000 hours of content will be available on DramaFever’s free service and which will available only to subscribers of its ad-free service ($10 per month in the U.S.).

The shows in the deal are an average of about two years old, Blacker said, “but they are featuring talent you can see on Telemundo today.” For current programming, the company launched Telemundo Now in October with day-after-air episodes available to subs of participating pay-TV providers.

New York-based DramaFever was founded in 2009 primarily with a focus on distributing Asian content in the U.S. The startup began expanding its library this year to include European and Latin American programming and now offers 14,000 episodes from 600 titles. DramaFever also syndicates a portion of its library to Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and Apple’s iTunes.

The company has raised $12 million from investors including AMC Networks, Bertelsmann, MK Capital, NALA Investments and YouTube co-founder Steve Chen.

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