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Univision, which is coming off a period of reorganization and nearing a change in ownership control, released its upfront slate Tuesday with an emphasis on consistency and reach to U.S. Hispanic consumers.
Calling itself “America’s Hispanic Superbrand,” the company said its offerings across entertainment, sports, live events and news give advertisers stability and growth potential despite the uncertainty roiling the marketplace. In its upfront presentation to advertisers, delivered online, it touted 11 new scripted series, 10 trophy soccer events and a series of initiatives surrounding this fall’s election.
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“With a clear mission to inform, empower and entertain the Hispanic community, we’re playing a more vital role in our audience’s lives than ever before during these unprecedented times,” CEO Vince Sadusky said. “The investments we’ve made in network, local and digital programming has resulted in Univision finishing the broadcast season as the highest-growth network at a time when virtually all other networks experienced declines. This momentum represents a real opportunity for brands to make a meaningful connection with an underserved and high-growth community.”
Sadusky became CEO in 2018, replacing Randy Falco, in a period when a number of top exec positions also saw turnover. He implemented a “back-to-basics” strategy focused on traditional core viewers after the focus broadened under Falco. When Univision chased English-language programming ventures and digital acquisitions, rival Telemundo managed to gain ground in the head-to-head ratings and even won several key timeslots, something previously considered unthinkable.
An investor group led by former Viacom CFO Wade Davis is set to take control of Univision, with Davis becoming CEO, after closing a deal for a 64% stake. The group reportedly paid about $526 million, implying an equity valuation of about $821 million, a small fraction of the $10 billion when it was appraised in 2007.
The Hispanic consumer population, according to Univision, represents nearly 20% of the total U.S. population and is the fastest-growing segment in the U.S., driving GDP growth at a rate 32% faster than non-Hispanics.
Consisting of Univision, UniMás, Galavisión and TUDN, the company has total reach of nearly 74 million consumers each month, including 75% of Hispanic adults. In digital, company platforms draw 20 million users a month.
Sales chief Steve Mandala said 82% of Hispanic adults today speak Spanish, while 92% of Univision’s audience watches content live, a contrast with other U.S. broadcast networks, whose live viewing is diminishing.
Here are the new additions to the programming lineup, with descriptions furnished by Univision:
Imperio de Mentiras (Empire of Lies) – Beloved actress Angelique Boyer makes her big return to the screen in an exhilarating thriller mixed with a classic melodrama that reimagines one of the most-successful Turkish series ever. Produced by Giselle González (“Cuna de Lobos,” “ Caer en Tentación,” “Yo No Creo en Los Hombres,” “La Candidata”), the story centers on a humble and honest policeman and a young woman from a wealthy family who are swept up in an unstoppable and forbidden passionate affair. After her father and his ex-girlfriend are murdered in strange circumstances, they will investigate the mysterious relationship to find out the truth. Together, they will discover powerful secrets that will introduce them to a world of corruption, all while struggling to defend their love and learn to trust each other. (Primetime – Univision –Televisa)
Si Nos Dejan (If They Let Us) – Produced by Carlos Bardasano (“Amar a Muerte,” “El Dragón,” “Rubí,” “Como Tú No Hay 2”) and written by Leonardo Padrón (“Amar a Muerte,” “Rubí”), this drama features a mature, empowered female lead named Alicia who against the odds finds love again. Alicia has the perfect family; she has been married to Sergio, a star journalist in Mexico, for 25 years and they have three children together. Seen as an icon of success, her world collapses when she finds out that her husband has been unfaithful for more than three years. Alicia divorces him and starts a new life alone. In her new path, she will have to face many obstacles and prejudices, especially after falling in love with a man 25 years her junior. (Primetime – Univision – W Studios/Televisa)
Te Acuerdas de Mí (Remember Me) – Produced by Carmen Armendariz (“La Usurpadora”) and starring Gabriel Soto, this passionate melodrama is inspired by a Turkish novel full of intrigue, romance and deception. After being forced to marry Olmo’s daughter, Pedro falls in love with Vera while on a business trip. Ready to leave everything behind for his new love, he must abandon his plan when Olmo, his boss and mentor, threatens her life. Pedro separates from his great love to save her, but years later, Pedro and Vera meet again under strange circumstances. Olmo, unaware of Vera’s past, has fallen in love with Vera and introduces her to his family as his new fiancée. The meeting will reignite Pedro and Vera’s love, unravel a dark past that joins them and unleash a painful plan for revenge. (Primetime – Univision –Televisa)
Dulce Ambición (Sweet Ambition) – This Brazilian drama from Globo features a strong, empowered female lead named María de la Paz and a unique antagonist – her daughter Yosiane. María is a baker who becomes a wealthy businesswoman 20 years after she loses the love of her life, Amadeus, who was shot on their wedding day by her grandmother. She flees her small town to the big city where she finds out she is pregnant. Twenty years later, her daughter Yosiane despises her mother’s humble origins and starts an alliance with the charming yet cunning Regis to steal Maria’s fortune. But he falls in love with María and as the events unfold the unimaginable happens, Amadeus comes back into her life. (Primetime – Univision – Globo)
Amor Prohibido (Forbidden Love) – Produced by Ay Yapim, “Amor Prohibido” is one of the highest-rated series in Turkey of all-time and stars Beren Saat, Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ and Selçuk Yöntem. After losing his wife eleven years earlier, and isolating himself from social life, Adnan is able to refocus his attention on his daughter Nihal and his son Bülent. However, soon after, Adnan meets and falls in love with Bihter, who despite not loving him, marries Adnan to get back at her mother. But Bihter becomes blinded by passion when she falls in love with Behlul, her husband’s nephew, and their secret love affair will soon affect every member of the family. (Primetime – Univision – Ay Yapim)
La Mexicana y el Güero (The Mexican and The Blond Guy) – This light dramedy starring Itatí Cantoral and Juan Soler, features a story of love, humor and ambition. The story focuses on Andrea, a beautiful con artist, and Tyler, an idealistic millionaire who returns to Mexico in search of his biological family after his adoptive mother dies, leaving him a last request that he return to his homeland. Andrea, pretending to be his biological sister, takes advantage of the situation to assemble a fun-filled fictional family whose only objective is to keep the güero’s millions. She hadn’t planned on a growing attraction between the two, which will gradually turn into love. (Primetime – Univision –Televisa)
Vencer el Desamor (Overcoming Heartbreak) – Following the success of “Vencer el Miedo” in Mexico, producer Rosy Ocampo returns with another story centered on strong female characters as part of a trilogy that features current, relevant issues. This is the story of Bárbara, Ariadna, Dafne and Gemma. While they are not part of the same family or the same social class, they have two things in common: they share a house and they lack the support of a partner, leading them to share loveless lives. As they deal with different problems such as widowhood, raising a child with special needs, an unplanned pregnancy and issues in the workplace, they come to realize that sisterhood is the element that will help them move forward. (Primetime – Univision –Televisa)
¿Qué Pasa con mi Familia? (What’s Happening to my Family?) – This series, produced by Juan Osorio (“Mi Marido Tiene Familia”), emphasizes the importance of family, love and respect, above all things. When Doña Luz, a widow and mother of three, is diagnosed with terminal cancer, she’s determined to take extreme measures to bring her adult kids back together and teach them a lesson. Absorbed by their work and personal ambitions, they have distanced from their mother and want her to bequeath them the land on which her house and restaurant are located while she is still alive. Knowing that she doesn’t have a long time to live, she will sue them to force them to change, giving them the best gift that a mother can bequeath: a strong sibling bond. (Primetime – Univision –Televisa)
Quererlo Todo (Wanting Everything) – Produced by Ignacio Sada (“Simplemente María,” “Refugio para el Amor”) and starring Danilo Carrera and Michelle Renaud, this romantic drama shares the story of Valeria Fernández who has been the long-term girlfriend of Leonel Montes, never questioning her love for him. After his father, a wealthy landowner, dies, war breaks out among the heirs of the fortune. In the midst of this commotion, Valeria meets Mateo Santos, son of the inheritance’s guardian and falls in love with his noble character and zest for life. Valeria will have to find the strength to reinvent herself far from Leonel’s shadow, and thus give herself the chance to experience sincere love at Mateo’s side. (Primetime – Univision –Televisa)
Madre (Mother) – One of the most successful Turkish dramas worldwide, distributed in nearly 40 countries, “Madre” brings to light a story of a woman who responds to an abused girl’s silent cries for help. Based on a Japanese series, this Turkish version highlights the story of a temporary teacher named Zeynep Güneş. While working at a local elementary school, she realizes one of her students, Melek, is being abused by her mother and mother’s boyfriend. When Zeynep realizes that nobody is doing anything to help Melek, she takes matters into her own hands. With Melek’s consent, she fakes Melek’s death, kidnaps her, and attempts to become her new mother. (Primetime – UniMás – Med Yapım & MF Yapım)
Las Mil y Una Noches (A Thousand and One Nights) – The tortured romance between Sehrazat and Onur is the central story of this award-winning, internationally-acclaimed Turkish drama. Şehrazat is an aspiring architect who is in desperate need of money to pay for the leukemia treatment of her son, Kaan. After pleading to borrow money from several sources, she is stuck with her boss, Onur, who agrees to give her the money she needs for Kaan’s treatment on the condition that she spends a night with him. (Primetime – UniMás – TMC Films)
Latin GRAMMY Honra (Latin GRAMMY Honors) – In partnership with The Latin Recording Academy, Univision will launch a new music tentpole franchise that will honor a genre, a person or a movement that positively impacts the industry. (Primetime – Univision)
Íconos de la Música (Music Icons) – In partnership with Blackbird Presents and Sony Music Latin, Univision will broadcast a new series of specials honoring Latin music’s biggest trailblazers — the risk-taking and industry-disrupting stars who have left a mark on Hispanic culture. The first-ever “Íconos de la Música” will celebrate the life and impact of singer/songwriter, actress, producer and philanthropist, Jenni Rivera, who took on the male-dominated world of Regional Mexican music and became one of the biggest selling artists of the genre. (Primetime – Univision)
Tu Cara Me Suena (Your Face Sounds Familiar) –Bringing the family together through Hispanics’ biggest passion point – música, this international hit music competition will feature eight celebrity contestants taking on the challenge of impersonating a musical icon, through posture, choreography, singing and dancing. With the help of an all-star panel of judges including Angélica Vale, Charityn, and Paul Stanley and some of the best professionals in the industry, from make-up artists to vocal coaches, contestants will have to look and sing like some of the world’s greatest musicians. Their performances are awarded points by a panel of judges until one celebrity is crowned the winner. From format owners Endemol Shine Boomdog. (Weekend Primetime – Univision – Univision Studios)
Nuestra Belleza Latina (Our Latin Beauty – Season 12) – Dispelling conventional notions of beauty, Univision’s most popular and longest-running reality competition returns to the screens with new faces, top talent and unique challenges. “NBL” features U.S. Hispanic women competing to break through society’s stereotypes of beauty, combining the excitement of a reality show with the glamour of a talent competition. “NBL” is for all women and about all women; accompanying contestants on their inspiring journeys and uncovering their fears and joys as they represent the real beauty of Latina, both inside and out. (Weekend Primetime – Univision Network – Univision Studios)
Enamorándonos (Love is Calling) – UniMás’ hit reality show dedicated 100 percent to finding true love will continue captivating the audience by putting them in the driver’s seat as it unveils how love happens. This daily two-hour show features 40 participants looking to find their perfect match. This season, “Enamorándonos” will deliver love stories, breakups, engagements and even on-air marriages, as well as a very special opportunity for singles in different cities around the U.S. and Puerto Rico to find their other half. (Primetime – UniMás Network – Soho Formats LLC)
Guerreros 2020 (Warriors 2020) – 20 athletic and extroverted participants willing to do anything, will use their physical ability and mental dexterity to overcome amusing challenges showing their true character and personality. They will be judged by the implacable “Tribunal,” who will fill with suspense and tension the amazing battlefield, as men and women face off to win a weekly cash prize that will be matched in support of communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Primetime – UniMás –Televisa)
CONCACAF Gold Cup – The pursuit of the Gold Cup is one of the premier soccer events of next summer and the only international competition featuring the U.S. and Mexican men’s national teams. The tournament for this Continental Crown, includes a strong field of top teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean. As the exclusive Spanish-language broadcaster of the Gold Cup, TUDN will present all matches live in primetime, as well as comprehensive coverage across its linear networks and digital portfolio.
EURO 2020 – TUDN will be the home of the UEFA European Championship (EURO), the best national team competition in the world. And for the very first time, EURO 2020 will take place across the continent, with the top teams in the world and some of the biggest stars of the sport competing in locations including Olimpico in Rome, Parken Stadium in Copenhagen and Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam, among others.
Road to Qatar – TUDN will carry all the matches from the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers featuring Concacaf (North America, Central America and the Caribbean) and UEFA (Europe) nations. Fanáticos will see all action and drama unfold on the pitch as soccer megastars Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Kane, Eden Hazard, Antonie Griezmann, Carlos Vela, Christian Pulisic and others, strive to lead their team to the World Cup.
Mexico vs. USA Rivalry – One of the most passionate rivalries in the world of fútbol lives on TUDN. From the Concacaf Gold Cup to the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers to Campeones Cup and many others, TUDN will bring all the action from this bitter rivalry and deliver more matches featuring the two Concacaf powers than anywhere else.
En un Minuto (In one Minute) – A morning briefing in video and podcast format that provides the news that you need to know to start your day. From politics, immigration and health, to science, personal finance and the economy, “En un Minuto” provides all the essential news of the day in just one minute for U.S. Hispanics. (Available on: UnivisionNoticias.com, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Alexa and YouTube. Produced by Univision News)
Café Dato (Coffee Fact) – Café Dato takes complicated subjects and explains them in a clear, simple and conversational way over a cup of coffee. (Available on: UnivisionNoticias.com, YouTube, Noticiero Univision Edición Digital and Univision’s early morning show Despierta América. Produced by Univision News)
Q&A – The weekly Facebook Live program provides a platform for Univision’s audience to ask their questions and discuss their concerns with experts. This fact-oriented program is presented in a town-hall format and allows the Hispanic community to interact with experts and Univision News journalists to get answers to their most pressing questions in real-time. (Available on: Univision Noticias on Facebook. Produced by Univision News)
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