“While the streaming marketplace is becoming more cluttered and competitive, we believe that the Spanish language streaming market is undeserved and it’s the last significant lane of streaming opportunity,” Univision CEO Wade Davis said during that call.
Now, Univision is a step closer to growing that opportunity. The company unveiled a blueprint for a unified, “comprehensive global streaming service” that will add a premium paid subscription-based option to a free ad-supported tier, scheduled to debut in the U.S. and Latin America in 2022.
To accelerate the process,Univision has hired Rodrigo Mazón as EVP & GM of SVOD to oversee all aspects of the company’s new streaming service, including content and programming strategy, original content production, talent relations, content acquisitions from third-party producers and subscriber growth and retention. He’ll be reporting directly to Pierluigi Gazzolo, President and Chief Transformation Officer at Univision, who has been beefing up the executive team with streaming pros.
“We are giving an early view into the scale and scope of our streaming ambitions,” Davis said in publicizing the SVOD tier, which will start with more than 6,000 hours of Spanish-language content and over 30 original productions throughout 2022 and feature globally recognized and award-winning producers, creators and writers.
For the launch, Univision struck project deals with Nobel Prize-winning Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa, Spanish author María Dueñas and Mexican writer-director Santiago Limón.
Vargas Llosa will have his 2006 novel “Travesuras de la niña mala” (The Bad Girl) adapted into a television series. The love story, set in the 1960s across various cities in Europe, will be executive produced by Patricio Wills from Televisa’s W Studios. Dueñas, bestselling author of the epic “El tiempo entre costuras” (The Time in Between) and “La templanza” (The Vineyard) whose television streaming adaptations garnered international acclaim, has signed a first-look deal with Univision for her future content and novels and will develop her first-ever series exclusively for Univision’s SVOD streaming service. Limón, creator and co-writer of the hit comedy film “Hasta que la boda nos separe” and director of the television series “La búsqueda” (The Search), will bring to life the action-horror-comedy series “Pinches Momias.”
Univision has also inked a development deal with Caracol Televisión, 360 Powwow and Isla Audiovisual for the historical series No Llegaron Solos, a story reviving the conquest of the Americas and depicting the journey of legendary Catalina de Erauso, one of the most rebellious women of all time. The series portrays the adventures of the three women who came with the Spanish conquistadors to settle in Latin America; among them, Erauso, the Spanish runaway novice who disguised herself as a man, rising to the rank of lieutenant in the colonial army in South America. Also on the slate: Mujer del Diablo, an original series created by Leonardo Padrón, writer of Amar a Muerte, Rubí and Si Nos Dejan, some of Univision and Televisa’s most popular primetime series.
“With the acquisition and integration of VIX and the launch of the current, early version of PrendeTV, we now have an audience that is more than 7M users worldwide and growing rapidly,” says Davis. “Pierlugi has brought together some of the best streaming executives in the industry. Michael has built, scaled and globalized one of the most successful streaming products in the world. Rafael has extensive experience scaling large, ad-supported video audiences, and Rodrigo is a pioneer in premium Spanish-language streaming and content. With this team and the resources we are allocating, we will launch a service that is differentiated, high quality and best in class.”