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Discovery Adds Two Hispanic Networks

4/03/2005 8:00 PM Eastern

Hopping full force onto the Hispanic-TV bandwagon, Discovery Communications Inc. is launching two Spanish-language channels — a children’s service and one on travel and lifestyle — officials said last week.

Discovery Kids en Español and Discovery Travel & Living [Viajar y Vivar] will debut June 17, on the 20th anniversary of Discovery Channel’s launch in the United States.

Discovery is committing $25 million for original programming for the two new networks.

NEW CONTENT

The two new channels aren’t secondary audio programming feeds of their domestic counterparts, but rather are unique channels tailored to fit the needs and culture of the U.S. Hispanic audience, according to the programmer. The programmer already has one Spanish-language network serving the U.S. Hispanic audience, Discovery en Español, which is in just under 10 million homes.

Discovery believes that Hispanic females and children are underserved when it comes to Spanish-language programming domestically. There is a Spanish-language kids’ network, Sorpresa!, and Scripps Networks considered launching a Hispanic lifestyle channel similar to its Home & Garden Television and Food Network.

“If you look at what’s out there now, there’s a lack of programming that really speaks to women, kids and family,” said Bill Goodwyn, president of affiliate sales and marketing for Discovery Networks U.S. “Most of the ones out there now center around news, sports, soccer. So there’s really a gap for family-friendly entertainment, based on the feedback we got from focus groups, viewers, distributors, etc. That led us to go out and get aggressive with these networks.”

Discovery has been talking to all the major distributors about the two Spanish-language networks and expects to have deals in place with most of them before the services launch, according to Goodwyn.

“We’re going to price these things so they get well-distributed,” Goodwyn said. “They’ll be incentives for roll-out deals versus sort of system-by-system launches.”

As part of its strategy to expand its offerings to the domestic Hispanic market, Discovery is also establishing a U.S. Hispanic Network Group in Miami.

Discovery Kids en Español and Discovery Travel & Living will each feature a mix of original productions, Latin American programming that hasn’t been seen in the United States and “trans-created” English fare that will be dubbed in Spanish and reformatted to be culturally relevant to U.S. Hispanics.

VOD ASPECTS

As part of its expansion in the Hispanic market, Discovery will introduce Discovery On Demand en Español, a Spanish-language video-on-demand service that will feature content from genres such as animals and nature, travel, home and lifestyle, and health and kid shows.

“I know Comcast is very excited about that piece in particular,” Goodwyn said.

The two new 24-hour networks, as well as Discovery en Espanol, will be operated by Discovery Networks International’s Latin American division in Miami. Discovery currently distributes nine channels to 23 Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America.

Discovery Kids en Espanol will target preschoolers, tweens and families. Its lineup will include: Save-Ums, an animated show about little heroes, for kids two to five; Truth or Scare, a tween-targeted show that will look at the supernatural; and Growing Up Wild, a nature show for the whole family.

Discovery Travel & Living will offer lifestyle programming, in the form of a mix of content on travel, food, design and décor. The lineup will include: Casas, which visits exceptional homes in Latin America; and Aventura Musical, where host Jamie Aditya takes on performing difficult music and dance performances.

 

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