×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBCUniversal Realigns Latin American Channels with Ole Communications Pact

NBCUniversal is looking to expand in Latin America. The Peacock has set a joint venture with Ole Communications designed to streamline the management of its five channels in the region.

The goal is to gradually increase the amount of locally produced programming and grow the footprint through acquisitions or startup opportunities.

NBCUniversal previously had a 50-50 joint venture with Ole, headed by CEO Enrique Cusco, to manage the E! Entertainment Latin America channel. Under the new deal, Ole has swapped in its equity in that channel for a smaller stake in the larger group that encompasses E! as well as the Universal Channel, Studio Universal, Syfy and Telemundo Internacional.

Those channels will continue to be distributed in the region through HBO Latin America Group, a joint venture that Ole runs with HBO parent Time Warner. Ole has a similar partnership with A+E Networks. Ole’s expertise in the market and the clout that it brings to the table with distributors by representing the HBO-Cinemax and A+E channels is what drew NBCUniversal International to go deeper into business with Cusco’s firm. Ole and NBCU (and Comcast) have been partners in E! Latin America for 20 years.

“Enrique has built these businesses up from scratch,” said Kevin MacLellan, chairman of NBCUniversal International. “He brings an instinct for the business and on-the-ground knowledge of the main Latin American territories that is far beyond what we would have on our own.”

NBCU and Ole had discussed pooling resources on the five channels for nearly three years before setting the terms this year. One exception to the deal is the distribution of Telemundo Internacional in Mexico, which remains controlled by Televisa, the nation’s dominant broadcaster.

As the NBCU channels become more established, there will be greater investment in regionally specific programming, MacLellan said. Ole’s team will help scout out prime opportunities and the best production partners. There may also be also acquisition or startup prospects in the future that Ole can help identify.

Latin America is a big focus for NBCUniversal because the region is projected to see healthy growth in TV advertising and affiliate fees for cable channels over the next decade. NBCU like other large media conglomerates are looking well beyond U.S. shores for earnings drivers in the coming years. Outside of the Ole deal, NBCU also has a growing partnership in Brazil with that nation’s largest TV player, Globo.

“Our commitment to Latin America is very strong,” MacLellan said. “We have a very strong belief that Latin America will have significant growth in linear and non-linear television in the next five to 10 years.”

More TV

  • Shefali Shah in Delhi Crime

    'Delhi Crime’ Wins Big at Asian Academy Creative Awards

    Richie Mehta’s harrowing Netflix series “Delhi Crime” was the big winner at the 2nd annual Asian Academy Creative Awards in Singapore on Friday. Representing the show, lead actress Shefali Shah was rushed off her feet as she repeatedly had to return to the stage. “Delhi Crime” earned her best actress in a leading role, best [...]

  • KARNAWAL

    ‘Karnawal,’ ‘Restless,’ ‘Summer White,’ ‘Firsts’ Win Big at Ventana Sur

    BUENOS AIRES  — With Ventana Sur now firing on multiple cylinders, featuring pix-in post or project competitions for not only art films but also genre pics and animation – two sectors embraced by young creators in Latin America – “Karnawal,” “Restless,” “Summer White” and  “Firsts” proved big winners among Ventana Sur’s arthouse and animation competitions, [...]

  • Robert Walker Jr.

    'Star Trek' Actor Robert Walker Jr. Dies at 79

    Robert Walker Jr., son of actors Robert Walker and Jennifer Jones, died Thursday, his family confirmed to the official website for the television show “Star Trek.” He was 79. Walker Jr. is best remembered for playing the titular Charlie Evans in the “Star Trek” episode “Charlie X” from the show’s first season in 1966. His [...]

  • Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, right,

    TV Ratings: Why Is the NBA Shooting Air Balls?

    The NBA’s TV ratings so far this season have been far from all-star level. Viewership across ESPN, TNT and NBA TV is down 15% year-to-year overall, according to Nielsen figures. TNT’s coverage is averaging 1.3 million viewers through 14 telecasts, down 21% versus last year’s comparable coverage, while on ESPN the picture isn’t much prettier. The [...]

  • Claire Danes, Homeland

    TV News Roundup: Showtime Releases 'Homeland' Final Season Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, Showtime drops the trailer for the final season of “Homeland,” and National Geographic reveals the first look at Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin in “Genius: Aretha.” FIRST LOOKS Showtime released the trailer for the final season of “Homeland,“ premiering Feb. 9. The eighth and final season, starring Claire Danes and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content