Comedy Central is spreading the laughs in Latin America.
Now claiming 36 million viewers in the region since its 2013 launch, the Viacom network has partnered with Mexico’s TV Azteca for the first time to co-produce a local version of “Lip Sync Battle,” which will consist of 13 one-hour episodes in which three Latin American talents vie based on their ability to lip sync.
Participating talent for “Lip Sync Mexico” will be announced shortly, said Federico Cuervo, SVP of Entertainment Brands (Comedy Central & Paramount Channel), VIMN Americas
Taping begins shortly for its upcoming debut on Comedy Central Latin America and TV Azteca.
The latest move is in line with Comedy Central’s objective to ramp up its original content in Latin America.
“Recognized as the pioneer of stand-up in the region, this year the channel offers 200-plus hours of new programming including new seasons of its coveted Comedy Central Stand-Up franchise in Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico and a local version of ‘Drunk History,’ ” said Cuervo. In Brazil, Comedy Central recently bowed “Portatil,” an improv show with renowned online comedy troupe Porta Dos Fundos, and in Argentina, it just wrapped taping of the second season of “La Culpa es de Colon,” which features local comedic talent who offer their acerbic take on the region’s politics, traditions and societies.
“In past years, we have also produced content in Venezuela and Chile, and will continue to do so in other countries given our commitment is to the entire region and not just one particular market,” said Cuervo.
In a bid to further its accessibility, the network launched in February its Comedy Central Play app, which has so far been downloaded 200,000 times and seen more than 2 million video views. The app offers users immediate access to the network’s most popular series, exclusive content and a live stream to its linear channel.
“Based on our research, our audience craves a combination of original content produced locally as well as global formats from our Viacom portfolio. That said, we’ve created a programming strategy that mirrors their needs and has proven to be successful,” said Cuervo.
“We’ll continue to offer the same amount of canned programming from the U.S. including ‘Inside Amy Schumer’ and ‘South Park,’ which have continuously brought in positive ratings for the brand,” he added.
Despite the economic downturn, pay TV penetration in the region is currently at 45% with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela at the forefront. Comedy Central is among the top 25 networks in Latin America.
“According to Dataxis, by 2017, pay TV penetration in Latin America’s biggest markets will reach 68%, with Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina leading the way,” said Brand.