Upfronts 2011: Vme Gains Rights To Spanish-Language Version Of Kennedys' Miniseries

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New York -- Before a packed house here Thursday morning, Vme presented its 2011-2012 lineup, which includes several new music and lifestyle series and --perhaps more importantly-- increasing content from new owners Grupo Prisa of Spain.

Among the new series slated to premiere this fall Vme is The Kennedys, the eight-episode docudrama, starring Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes, which premiered on Reelz earlier this year. Vme secured the exclusive Spanish-language rights to the much hyped drama that was originally commissioned by History.

"If we don't get a ratings boost with this, I don't know what will," Guillermo Sierra, Vme's senior vice president of programming, told Multichannel News. Vme secured exclusive rights for the much hyped drama in Spanish.
The Kennedys chronicles the famous family's tribulations from the 1930s to 1968. It covers important historical events for Latin Americans, including the Cuban Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs Invasion, but it also spends time covering the behind the scenes relationships that made the family so powerful.

At hand for Vme's May 19 upfront presentation were two of Grupo Prisa's top executives, Manuel Polanco and Ignacio Polanco of the powerful family that founded Grupo Prisa, a worldwide media conglomerate that operates television, radio, newspapers and book publishing houses around the Spanish-speaking world. Prisa, which own Spain's national daily El Pais, acquired 51% of Vme and, at least for now, plans to keep it that way: "We are very pleased with that 51 percent," said Manuel Polanco, president of Prisa Television, in an interview.

In addition to new programming in the areas of scripted drama, music, cooking and entertainment, Vme also announced 10 "brand entitlements," offering clients the opportunity to integrate products onto the set and sharing the show entitlements. Executives said opportunities exist with continuing series and new programs, including En Pantalla (movies) E3 (entertainment) Nota Musica (music) and Tu Bebe, among others.

Vme took the opportunity to inform the crowd of about 300 at the Samsung Experience center in New York about its increased penetration and the fact that as of January it became a fully rated network.

The 24-hour Spanish network, partnered with public television stations, is currently available in more than 10 million Hispanic homes, or 77% of its total reach.