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Telemundo Revs Up World Cup Coverage Plans, VR and Music-Based Series

Banking on its 2018 coverage of the World Cup in Russia to close the gap with rival Univision, NBCUniversal’s Telemundo unveiled a diverse slate of new programming for the coming season that includes the first-ever VR experience for the World Cup.

“The World Cup is as big as it gets,” said Cesar Conde, chairman of NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises and NBCUniversal International Group. “For Hispanics, soccer is a religion, and the World Cup is our cathedral,” he said, adding that he sees the games positioning Telemundo Deportes as “the leading sports brand in the industry.”

The World Cup virtual reality app will allow viewers to watch select live matches from a virtual VIP suite through a super wide-angle feed. Content will include 2D feeds, 180-degree views, 360-degree short-form video content and near-live multi-angle clips. It will be available on multiple mobile platforms as VR headset experiences or non-headset Magic Window.

Telemundo is also adding the VR experience to its real-time media experience app, “Double Accion 52” as it expands to 52 weeks a year. The app allows viewers of Telemundo’s Super Series such as its top- rated dramas “El Senor de los Cielos” and “La Reina del Sur,” now in its second season, to insert themselves into the action and access exclusive content, including videos, photos and other interactive content.

Telemundo’s 2017-2018 season of more than 850 hours of new formats and multiplatform original content programming includes five new mini-series, a bio-series based on the life of music icon Luis Miguel and “El Secreto de Selena,” the story behind the death of Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla.

“We develop 85% of our own content and remain laser-focused on producing programming for the U.S. Hispanic market,” said Telemundo president Luis Silberwasser, at the Internet-streamed news conference that Telemundo held on Thursday.

On the digital side, Telemundo is also launching its first digital bilingual reality show “Love Clicks 24/7,” the first-ever Hispanic “Snapchat Show” in partnership with the social media platform and two multiplatform content collaborations with BuzzFeed: “Frente a Frente” and “SLS Weekend Wrap.”

“Latinos are evolving and they are influencing our economy and mainstream culture more than ever,” said Conde who pointed out that the U.S. Latino population numbers 57 million and wields some $1.5 trillion in spending power.

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