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Telemundo Talks Up Mun2

New York— Telemundo took time out from hyping a broad slate of new programs at last week’s upfront presentation to advertisers to promote significant gains for Mun2, its Latino youth-oriented cable network.

The 10.5 million-household Mun2, whose key demo is Latinos aged 13 to 24, reported 15 months of consecutive year-to-year ratings growth. It also cited an average total day ratings increase of 63% from the first quarter of 2006 to the first quarter of 2007.

To address that growth, Mun2 announced three new programs, including a repackaged version of a current Web offering.

In the first quarter of 2008, Mun2 will debut the half-hour weekly magazine program El Show, an on-air version of its Web site, which features news, reviews, user-generated content and sketches.

“The packaging is going to be a little different,” said Mun2 vice president of programing Flavio Morales. “I think the presentation is more of an abbreviated version of your experience online, because online there are so many different layers.”

Mun2 is also plugging two new reality series. Debuting in the second quarter of 2008 will be Beauty Es Cool, a weekly 30-minute beauty school drama, followed in the third quarter by The mun2 Hook Up, a weekly 30-minute show in which young Latinos live a day in the shoes of their heroes and experience their dream jobs.

“You win if you’re locally relevant,” said Morales. “And for a national network like ourselves, the way we do that is by being on the road as much as we can.” To that end, the Los Angeles-based network has been trying to localize content by shooting from places in New York, Miami and Texas, as well as around Orange County, Calif.

Meanwhile, Telemundo announced its own diverse roster of new programs, spanning news, sports, latenight, telenovelas and specials.

Among the 2007-2008 debuts joining its lineup of novelas will be the urban Romeo-and-Juliet melodrama El Otro Lado del Amor (The Other Side of Love); Doña Bárbara, based on a novel considered one of Latin America’s literary classics; and the story of modern-day witches Las Brujas de South Beach (The Witches of South Beach).

On the news front: Telemundo announced Al Rojo Vivo Fin de Semana con Candela Ferro, a half-hour weekend edition of its weekday news magazine Al Rojo Vivo con Maria Celeste; as well as the network’s own version of Meet the Press, titled Enfoque.

In 2008, as official Hispanic broadcaster of the Summer Olympic Games, Telemundo will cover the summer games from Beijing.