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‘La Banda’ Finale Draws 2.7M to Univision

Hispanic TV viewers love their boy bands, and now they’re set to swoon over CNCO.

Univision’s La Banda, developed through a multifaceted partnership between Univision and Simon Cowell’s SYCO Entertainment, Haim Saban’s Saban Brands, and series co-producer FremantleMedia Latin America, wrapped up its first season Dec. 13 with the live naming of CNCO as "the next Latino super group" — generating super ratings in the process.

The live telecast averaged 2.7 million total viewers age 2-plus and 1.1 million adults 18-49, according to Nielsen data supplied by Univision. La Banda out-delivered both ABC and CBS among adults 18-34, attracting 518,000 viewers, according to Univision’s Nielsen data.

The cinco that comprise CNCO represent a diverse selection of U.S. Hispanics. Selected as the act’s five members are Richard Camacho, a Dominican-American from New Hampshire; Erick Brian Colón, a Cuban-American from Florida; Puerto Rico native Zabdiel de Jesús; Mexican-American Joel Pimentel from California; and Ecuadorian-American Christopher Vélez from New Jersey.

La Banda has been a ratings winner from the start for Univision, ranking at or near the top of the weekly rankings of the top programs viewed in Spanish-language households with an average 2 million viewers aged 2-plus each week.

Only Univision primetime telenovela Yo No Creo en Los Hombres has enjoyed higher weekly ratings since the Sept. 13 debut of La Banda.

The Dec. 13 season-one finale, televised live from Univision's studios in Doral, Fla., featured special appearances from pop act Fifth Harmony, reggaetón star Wisin, and the man who has become the global face of hip Latino music, Pitbull. There were also video appearances from One Direction and Simon Cowell.

The five new bandmates then closed the evening with the first performance of CNCO’s first single, “The Winning Song.” The track, produced by Wisin, was quickly released on iTunes.

CNCO will be managed by Ricky Martin, who served as a judge on La Banda alongside Spanish pop crooner Alejandro Sanz and Italian pop icon Laura Pausini. The band earned a recording contract with Sony Music Latin and will embark on a multination tour in 2016, after recording debut album to be produced by Wisin.

CNCO will also perform during Univision's New Year's Eve telecast ¡Feliz 2016!, originating from New York’s Times Square.

“We’re highly impressed with the caliber of talent that came up through the show,” Nir Seroussi, president of Sony Music U.S. Latin, said. “We can’t wait to get into the studio and hit the ground running with these soon-to-be international superstars.”

The selection of CNCO as the first La Banda winners wasn't entirely left up to Martin, Sanz and Pausini. Thanks to the participation of Hologram USA and sponsor Verizon, one show “superfan” appeared virtually as the "fourth judge" on the Dec. 6 installment of La Banda. Jorge Sanchez, a 22-year-old from Los Angeles, was “beamed” onto the stage to share his feedback with contestants.

Sanchez’s appearance came via a contest facilitated through the Univision Conecta App, which allows users to accumulate points by interacting and consuming content during La Banda's first season.  

“We wanted to bring a unique experience to our Hispanic consumers who are mobile-first,” Verizon Wireless vice president of segment marketing Javier Farfan said. “The hologram experience is stuff you see in the futuristic movies, and Verizon [can bring it to you] now.”

Sanchez was in the audience for the Dec. 13 finale but did not influence the final vote.

Univision will bring La Banda back for a second season, with auditions set for early 2016 and both boys and girls age 14 or older eligible to participate, as long as they reside in the U.S. or Puerto Rico. The first season of La Banda was open exclusively to boys.