Raze Pacts With Turner Latin America for Inaugural Raze Awards

Hispanic media startup seeking U.S. distribution partner for digital-creator awards event

Hispanic media startup Raze has struck a deal with WarnerMedia’s Turner Latin America to coproduce and finance the first Raze Awards, aimed at celebrating Latino digital creators.

The first edition of the Raze Awards, scheduled for September 2019, will feature entertainers from across the globe in a one-hour event that will be televised throughout Latin America on TNTLA.

Raze — co-founded by Emiliano Calemzuk, actress Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family”), and Vergara’s longtime business partner Luis Balaguer — is hoping to build a new awards franchise to reach young millennial Hispanic audiences. The Raze Awards are patterned on other kudocasts like the MTV Music Awards or, perhaps more on point, MTV Latin America’s MTV MIAW awards (originally called the MTV Millennial Awards). The Raze Awards will be selected by fans, a committee of creators and a judges’ panel of industry execs. The list of hosts, performers and special guests for the first Raze Awards have yet to be announced.

Raze (raze.tv) is currently in talks with potential U.S. distribution partners for all platforms, including live streaming simultaneously with the Latin American live broadcast. The company announced the deal with Turner at Mipcom 2018.

In addition to the main event, Raze and Turner Latin America will plans to create local events where digital celebrities from each country will be recognized.

“This project was born out of necessity because after listening to our digital stars and their fans, we realized that the community wants to celebrate their idols in ways beyond just their popularity,” Mari Urdaneta, Raze’s chief content officer, said in a statement. “They also want to recognize them as content creators and storytellers. The Raze Awards is truly the first awards show co-created for creators, by creators.”

Turner’s aim is to “give visibility to those digital content celebrities who represent millions of fans, by showing not only who they are, but also all of their talent,” commented Tomás Yankelevich, EVP and chief content officer, general entertainment, for Turner Latin America.

Raze was founded in 2016 by Calemzuk, former CEO of Fox Television Studios, along with Vergara and Luis Balaguer from Latin World Entertainment. Investors in the Culver City, Calif.-based startup include UTA, Greycroft Partners and Raine Ventures.

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