Cynopsis Special Edition: UPFRONT with Azteca America

Cynopsis Presents:
Cynopsis Special Edition: UPFRONT with Azteca America

Last year was a big deal for Azteca America – literally. The Spanish-language network was acquired by HC2 Network, which also bought Northstar’s broadcast television stations, significantly expanding Azteca America’s distribution. “With our purchase comes a plethora of opportunities,” says Craig Geller, Azteca’s Executive Vice President of Network and Digital Sales. “This has been very exciting for Azteca America, a stage that nobody’s going to want to miss out on.”

 
The Message
 
Last year’s Upfront message was “Feel the Intensity.” This year? “The overarching theme is ‘The Next Stage,’” says Geller. “We have four different messages which we’re going to be putting into the marketplace, dovetailing off of what we did last year. More importantly, it’s also addressing the changing needs of the marketplace today.”
 
The first is new ownership. “With new ownership comes the ability to grow and scale. It gives us strength and greater stability in our programming lineup. And it’s not just our linear platform, but digital – anywhere our audience is consuming content.”
 
Number two: content. “We’ll continue with our counter programming strategy, we’ll continue to make sure we’re driving the key hours of prime time with content that resonates, from our game show block all the way to our dramas.”
 
Third is a bigger and more critical role for distribution. “Our parent company is committed to broadcasting in the United States. They currently own over 135 operational stations in 110 DMAs, which now includes Azteca America. With their support, Azteca America will achieve expanded scale and distribution, enabling it to be more competitive in the marketplace.”
 
Last but not least is data. “Data is understanding what the audience wants, then creating products, taking calculated risks, trying genres that perhaps have not been tested in the U.S. Hispanic marketplace,” says Geller. “The last piece of it is to look at how viewers are consuming their content. What is that viewer’s journey? Does it mean that we should be reducing commercial load in certain areas of our programming? We’ll continue to do that.”
 
What Advertisers Are Saying
 
In meetings so far, advertisers are responding enthusiastically, says Geller. “They love the fact that we brought in the reinforcements to shore up our business, and demystify what was out there in the marketplace. We are a business that is moving forward, not looking in the rearview mirror. They like the genres and the format, and they like that we’re thinking differently about how we want to partner with them.
 
“We’re viewer and client-centric,” adds Geller. “This past year in our negotiations we’ve had some of our clients say, ‘Look, we love what you’re doing, we love your product, but we want to make sure that we have measurable data behind that.’ And we’ve done some proprietary studies that have had a great impact in reinforcing our position.”
 
One highlight of Azteca’s Upfront event at the Times Center last night was a presentation from Nielsen’s Stacie de Armas, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives and Consumer Engagement, who offered exclusive updates to Nielsen’s “Latina 2.0 Study” that made it clear to advertisers why they can’t afford to overlook the U.S. Hispanic population. “We have to double down and reinforce that this Latino consumer is critically important to their business,” says Geller. “Without them, their brand and their business will suffer dramatically.
 
Recognizing the challenge brands have in getting past the noise and clutter, Azteca is looking at expanding its content studio, to “really tap into the emotional attachment that our viewers have,” says Geller. “We’re going to help clients create, not commercials, but engaging content that not only runs on our channels but can also run on their social media channels. We think that given that we’re already a true tried and trusted voice to them, we have a distinct advantage over those companies today that are going into the content creation business.”
 
Going Over the Top
 
Geller is pleased with Azteca America’s OTT advances. “Last year we made the announcement that we were going to be launching, and we did so,” he says. “We made the announcement that we were going to have a couple hundred hours of content on the platform, and we made that happen. We made the announcement last year that we would have good distribution, and we’re distributed on Amazon Fire, Smart TV, Apple, Roku and Opera TV.” This year the network will be launching Azteca Mas on smart devices, given the propensity of the Hispanic market to consume content on those platforms as well.
 
What’s Next
 
The journey for Azteca America has just begun, says Geller. “Our next stage sets us up with strength, stability, and the ability to scale. We have new owners, our counter programming strategy works, and we’re building out our distribution platforms. I’m looking forward to the audience and advertisers joining us as we continue to grow.”
 
Get With the Program
Coming up on Azteca America are new shows, specials and more…
 
Mas Alla del Miedo (Beyond Fear) is a breakthrough horror show about the struggle for survival against ruthless criminals….Miss Universe returns to Azteca for the fourth consecutive year…. Mexico’s Independence Day is celebrated on September 15 in El Grito….Azteca’s New Year’s Special airs live from New York and Mexico City, while Las Mananitas a la Virgen, paying tribute to the patron saint, will be broadcast live from La Basilica in Mexico City….In new game show Mi Pareja Puede (My Man Can), four women gamble on the abilities of their partners, putting their men’s courage and skills to the test….and Roberto Duran infuses the sport of boxing with the live sounds of Latin Pop artists in reality series Al Ritmo del Boxeo
 
Azteca will honor and celebrate the achievements of U.S. Hispanic women with the launch of the ad-supported “Year of the Latina” platform. The initiative will be guided by monthly themes and award recognitions and will incorporate a premium video initiative with content integrated into shows and live events. Azteca is supporting the initiative with grassroots extensions, with “Year of the Latina” amplified across social media platforms.

 
Cynopsis Ad Sales
Mike Farina | 203-218-6480
VP, Sales
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
Trish Pihonak | 203-899-8459
Director of Operations

 

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