HITN TV Goes Over-the-Top with Avanza

PrintWherever viewers are, Spanish-language network HITN intends to find them with the just- launched Avanza, a multi-platform service offering content ranging from nature programming to science and technology, lifestyle and health, current events and preschool education. Before he heads to NATPE, Michael D. Nieves, President & CEO, HITN talks strategy, and his plans for Miami.

Cynopsis: How is HITN adjusting to the current TV ecosystem? What are your biggest challenges?

Michael D. Nieves: For the last few years, my team has studied the media landscape and we’ve learned that Hispanics are early adopters of new technologies. This younger generation has already started to depend on digital platforms to stay updated and to follow their favorite programs. So in conversation with our viewers, one request that kept coming up was for a way to view our programming that better fit their schedule. Through the development of Avanza, this extensive digital strategy will combine world-class content and a robust state-of-the-art technological platform that leverages our existing partnerships with top pay-TV distributors. Our biggest challenge was designing a platform that would be attractive for the audience while maintaining our core educational mission. We believe that with Avanza, we have achieved precisely that and are very proud of announcing it.

Cynopsis: What’s the strategy?

Nieves: Our strategy for Avanza is an “authenticated free-mium” service that will provide all of our current HITN subscribers with access to our linear channel feeds, the complete VOD library of our educational and entertaining programs without an additional fee premium servicesThe initial service will be Avanza Kids, the first premium educational SVOD platform for Hispanic preschoolers. This service will be offered by our Pay-TV partners, who will be in charge of promoting, selling, and billing the service. 

Cynopsis: What resources did you devote to the development of Avanza? Do you have a dedicated team in place now?

Nieves: Yes, we have dedicated team within our Digital Group completely immersed in the development of Avanza. In addition, we have the involvement of our Content, Marketing and Operations groups, with the full support of the rest of our organization. Launching a robust SVOD service is comparable to launching a second linear channel.  

Cynopsis: What will your message be at NATPE? 

Nieves: We attend NATPE primarily as content buyers. It is the first market of the year and our Acquisitions team will be meeting with global content producers and distributors. In addition, we will be showcasing Avanza to representatives from our Pay-TV partners.    

The Cynsiders column is a platform for industry leaders to reach out to colleagues, followers, and the public at large. In their own words and in targeted Q&As, columnists address breaking news, issues of the day, and the larger changes going on in the ever-evolving world of television, video and digital. Cynsiders columns live on Cynopsis’ main page and are promoted across all daily newsletters. We welcome readers’ comments, queries, and column ideas at Lynn@Cynopsis.com.

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