Amazon Prime Video habla español. The streaming giant is making its first foray into original production in Latin America by inking a multi-series pact with Televisa and its new premium content unit, Televisa Alternative Originals.
In its bid to catch up with market leader Netflix, which has produced several original series in Latin America led by global hit “Narcos,” Amazon will be licensing a number of Spanish-language scripted series from TAO, each averaging 8 to 10 episodes. Televisa and Univision will have the second windows on broadcast and pay TV in Mexico and the U.S., respectively.
TAO will develop, produce and distribute the programming with a focus on multicultural characters and storytelling. Televisa chief content officer Isaac Lee hinted on the deal during Televisa’s fourth quarter earnings call on Wednesday. “With the different window opportunities that we have and considering that the IP is very important to us, you can expect Televisa to partner with international players to produce premium content,” Lee said.
Alfonso de Angoitia, co-chief executive officer of Grupo Televisa, said Televisa’s status as the largest producer of Spanish-language content in the world makes it well-positioned to expand with the Amazon deal.
“We have been very successful for many, many decades and I believe in producing content for others,” de Angoitia said.
A 16.5% increase in fees this year from Univision, which is partially owned by Televisa, is expected to fuel Televisa’s heightened investment in content. The move comes at a time when Televisa’s outlets in Mexico have seen a decline in ad revenues.
“Without a doubt, 2017 was a disappointing year,” said Angoitia who noted a ratings increase despite the losses. “We were able to eliminate the disconnect between revenues and ratings and fixing this will remain one of Televisa’s highest priorities in 2018.”
TAO will have a presence in Mexico and Los Angeles, with creative and business leaders reporting to Boris Gartner, head of strategy and operations for Televisa’s content business. The management and creative heads will be announced shortly.
Amazon Prime Video will hold the global SVOD rights to the series and make them available to its subscribers across more than 200 countries and territories.