¡HOLA! TV Makes U.S. Debut with DirecTV

After launching in Latin America last fall, ¡HOLA! TV will establish a Stateside beachhead with its DirecTV debut on May 1.

The Spanish-language proponent of entertainment and celebrity news and lifestyles will be available on the DBS leader’s Mas Latino and Mas Ultra packages on channel 430, bringing an array of original content and acquired fare to Latina viewers.

The rollout continues the brand’s expansion from print – it has 34 ¡HOLA! editions worldwide, including in Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. – to the linear TV realm. Last September, ¡HOLA! TV, through a deal with DirecTV, bowed in Argentina, Puerto Rico Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela. Since then, it has inked affiliate agreements with Telefonica (Chile and Venezuela), Aster (Dominican Republic), TuVes (Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru) and Intercable DTH (Venezuela).  ¡HOLA! TV is a joint venture between Spanish media conglomerate Atresmedia Television and HOLA! magazine

All told, Ignacio Sanz de Acedo, CEO and general manager for ¡HOLA! TV, said the service now counts some 4.5 million subs in the Caribbean and South America, and it's in conversations for carriage in Mexico.  

Sanz de Acedo said the DirecTV debut “expands our reach to new audiences and to our loyal ¡HOLA! magazine fans throughout the United States.” 

He would not disclose ¡HOLA! TV's domestic license fee with DirecTV, but said it was “a standard multiyear deal that aligned the brand value of the programming on the network.”

“We are pleased to be the first to introduce ¡HOLA! TV to our Spanish-speaking customers across the U.S.,” said Emma Brackett, vice president, content and programming at DirecTV.  “¡HOLA! TV refreshing take on entertaining human-interest stories and original programming is a welcome addition to our Spanish-language programming lineup and will delight Hispanic customers everywhere.”

Beginning on May 1, DirecTV will be able to screen more than 500 annual hours of original production, emanating from four programs produced in Miami.

Hosted by Colombian María José Barraza, Mundo HOLA! is a weekday, one-hour magazine-style show that showcases interviews and in-depth looks at celebrities, movie stars, music, entertainment, fashion, royal families and internationally renowned athletes.

HOLA! Diario is a daily half-hour show in which Ana María Monroy provides a digest of the most important news from the entertainment world, spanning the U.S., Europe and Latin America.

For its part, the weekly half-hour show HOLALA!, hosted by Irene Sánchez, reviews the best feature stories published in the 10 Latin American editions of HOLA! magazine.

On En Exclusivo, celebrities and the affluent open their homes and their hearts to Lana Montalban, via a series of up-close and personal interviews.

Sanz de Acedo anticipates the the network will hold considerable appeal to women, whom he believe will comprise 65% of its U.S. audience.  He said the magazine has a U.S. presence, especially among the top 10 Hispanic DMAs.

As it builds its subscriber base, Sanz de Acedo expects the network will attract advertisers in the cosmetics, personal care and home goods categories, among others.

He noted that the launch is arriving sans a big marketing push, noting that the network is working with DirecTV to develop key marketing initiatives in select markets around the nation at key times of the year.

Sanz de Acedo said ¡HOLA! TV has held conversations with all key distribution players in the U.S. and he expressed confidence the service will score more carriage contracts.  Currently, ¡HOLA! TV, he said, is working toward overcoming competitive and pricing issues, and in some cases “a technical bar.”

Others, he said, are taking a wait-and-see approach. To that end, the network's positioning on the DirecTV packages, according to de Acedo, will provide it with a national calling card of sorts.