ESPN Deportes, taking the stage as part of ESPN's upfront presentation to advertisers here on May 17, said it will jump into the scripted game and offer a primetime magazine show
Following a path previously tread and exited by the mothership, the Spanish-language service has ordered its first original series El Diez, starring Latin American film and TV star and RBD group music group member Alfonso Herrera, who was at the sports giant's presentation.
Shot in Mexico City in the high-definition format, the 10-episode series charts the journey of Chava Espinoza (Herrera), a young soccer player from Ocotlan, Jalisco, whose performance in the Under-20 World Cup makes him an overnight sensation. He arrives to the capital alongside his childhood friend Jesus "El Cremas" Ramirez (Ernesto Loera) and his manager Gonzalo Gomez (Mauricio Quintana). Slated to premiere this fall, the story centers of Espinoza's quest to earn the team's number 10 jersey, worn by soccer legends and coveted by all players.
During the presentation, featuring ESPN Nacion co-host and Adriana Monsalve and the legendary soccer commentator and network host Jorge Ramos, ESPN Deportes also emphasized other futbol fare, namely its exclusive Spanish-language coverage of Euro 2012 from Poland and Ukraine next summer. In the meantime, it is working on finalizing matches under the heading of the "World Football Challenge" this July, a showcase for top European clubs as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United taking on MLS teams in the U.S.
The network, which is now available in HD, also has the coverage rights to XVI Pan American Games, Guadalajara 2011, from Oct. 14-30. The quadrennial event comprises 6,000 athletes from 42 nations, competing in 36 sports.
Monsalve and Ramos, who noted that 28.5 million Hispanics watch ESPN networks quarterly, with 5.4 million espying exclusively on Deportes, also spoke about the debut of a Spanish-language version of E:60. The newsmagazine will be led by hosts Jose Ramon Fernandez, David Faitelson and Ramos, plus a team of top reporters, including Fernando Palomo, Fernando Schwartz, Guillermo Celis, Enrique Rojas and Martin Ainstein. Each episode will include one main story produced exclusively for ESPN Deportes along with stories previously featured on E:60.
ESPN Deportes also used the upfront as a platform to officially launch www.espndeporteslosangeles.com, its initial local Spanish-language website. Soft-launched on Cinco de Mayo, the site, featuring contributions from writers in LA, New York, Miami and Mexico City, could serve as blueprint for other future launches in key Hispanic markets in the States. It was borne out of the comprehensive programming pact that Time Warner Cable reached with parent The Walt Disney Co. last September.
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