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Sunday, September 25, 2022

U.S.-Based Estrella Media Aligns With Mexico’s TV Azteca in Two-Year Programming Deal (EXCLUSIVE) – Variety

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By Michael Schneider
Variety Editor at Large
U.S.-based Spanish lingo programmer Estrella Media has sealed a two-year deal with Mexico-based broadcasting powerhouse TV Azteca to jointly create, produce and air new series on both sides of the border.
The companies are set to announce some of those offerings next month during the 2022 IAB NewFronts on May 5, followed by Estrella Media’s upfront presentation on May 9. But the new partnership, set to be announced on Tuesday, includes creating more than 600 hours of original programming for both the U.S. and Mexico, as well as production of existing series and the licensing of library content for air in both countries. So far, four projects have been greenlit on the Estrella Media side, and three on the TV Azteca end.

Estrella Media and TV Azteca already collaborated last November on the Regional Mexican music awards special “Premios de la Radio,” which aired on EstrellaTV in the U.S. and on TV Azteca Uno in Mexico. The show delivered EstrellaTV’s highest primetime audience in 2021.

As part of the new deal, the companies will co-produce scripted and unscripted series and specials for their broadcast television networks and digital OTT, AVOD and FAST channels. The content will start airing here in the U.S. on Estrella Media platforms beginning this fall.
The deal gives a new U.S. outlet for TV Azteca, which has dabbled in the market in the past — most notably, with the U.S. broadcast network Azteca America. TV Azteca launched that network with Pappas Telecasting in 2000, but the two sides later separated. TV Azteca officially sold its interest in Azteca America to HC2 Networks in 2017. Although TV Azteca continues to provide programming for Azteca America, the door was now open for other alliances.
“The origins of the partnership between our operation the US and their operation in Mexico is that we have known each other for many years, just operating in the not only the same spirit but sort of the same mindset in terms of how we program,” said Peter Markham, CEO, Estrella Media. “We view them as incredibly innovative, and hopefully they view us the same. So we began talking about how we could do more together over the last 12 to 18 months. And then our first project we did last fall with TV Azteca was the co production of ‘Premios de la Radio,’ which was an amazing success for both parties. And we produced it in Mexico in partnership with TV Azteca. The light bulb went off on both sides that there’s clearly a meeting of the minds in terms of how we think of the world in Spanish language media in the US and Mexico in particular, that we should be doing more together.”
Added Benjamín Salinas, vice president of the Board of Grupo Salinas: “TV Azteca has set its goals on the creation of the best content for the audiences, and this partnership with EstrellaTV will allow us to broaden the reach of the best productions to Mexico and the U.S.”
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