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Six Things You Missed at the Univision Communications 2016 Upfront 

Univision’s Upfront 2016 Presentation. Our Audience. The Lyric Theatre, NYC.

1.  A New Content Ecosystem:  EVP of Ad Sales Steve Mandala outlined another way for clients to buy UCI content, which is now organized into a system of 17 verticals, cutting across genres, demos and psychographics: “Like-content is distributed across all platforms to create something infinitely more valuable for advertisers.” The presentation focused on four multi-platform verticals, Sports, Music, Drama and Comedy, with the latter stressed as the best way to reach young audiences in Spanish and English.

2. Digital Growth:  Mandala also touched on UCI’s digital growth, which, due to organic growth and the fruits of its acquisitions, has increased to over 34 million, or 52 million if you count extended network reach, across, Flama, The Univision Creator Network, Fusion, The Root, and The Onion

3. Univision Deportes “Freaking Loves” Soccer:  Always-fun Sports President Juan Carlos Rodriguez began his presentation by ripping off his suit jacket to put on a team warm-up, which he said better suited him…and what followed supported his claim! Sports highlights included expanded weekday soccer offerings due to the acquisition of rights to UEFA European competitions, and the launch of new franchise, Sabado Futbolero (Saturday Night Fútbol), six hours of Liga MX soccer nearly every week: “For the first time ever, soccer fans can count on top matches every Saturday in primetime.”

4. Evolution in the Novela Genre:  Jessica Rodriguez, Univision CMO and head of program scheduling, talked about the evolution of telenovelas, with a powerful assist from Televisa President José Baston, who appeared in a video showcasing developments in the genre. Those changes include shorter storylines, topical subjects and depictions of empowered women, all designed to grow the genre’s appeal for generations to come.  Rodriguez highlighted four in a slate of 15 for the coming season, describing one, Mujeres de Negro (The Women in Black) as “dark, twisty and fabulous.”

5.  Regional Mexican Music:  UCI also revealed a new focus around the #1 radio format for Hispanic Millennials, Regional Mexican. The content strategy includes two biopics telling the epic life stories of Jenni Rivera and Joan Sebastian, two concert specials featuring legendary acts Los Tigres del Norte and Vicente Fernandez, and La Reina de la Cancion (The Queen of the Song), a new reality competition. What UCI’s hit La Banda did for pop, Cancion de Mujer will do for Regional Mexican, in its quest to find the next big female star of the genre.

6.  An Exclusive Collaboration:  Maybe the biggest news of the week was the announcement of a collaboration between UCI and Netflix, allowing the world’s leading internet television network to leverage the bond UCI has with their audience to introduce millions of additional Hispanic viewers to Narcos and Club de Cuervos for the first time ever on broadcast television in the U.S.  The collaboration also includes the co-production of a new series about the life of Joaquin El Chapo Guzman.


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