Pierluigi Gazzolo, President and Chief Transformation Officer at Univision
Univision Communications Inc. unveiled its plans for a comprehensive global streaming service, which includes both free ad-supported and premium subscription-based options, to launch in the U.S. and Latin America in 2022. The two-tier streaming service will offer a differentiated product proposition, vast content scope, expansive library, and more Spanish-language originals than any other streaming service. The service will be fueled by full access to Televisa’s deep content library and iconic IP as well as an ambitious slate of new originals produced by the leading creators in the Spanish-speaking world. The best of the existing PrendeTV, VIX, and Univision NOW services will be transitioned and unified into one global service and brand. Brand, pricing and specific launch date for the service will be announced following the close of the Televisa-Univision merger later this year.
To execute on this vision, Rodrigo Mazon has joined as EVP & GM of SVOD, reporting directly to Pierluigi Gazzolo, President and Chief Transformation Officer at Univision. With more than 10 years of experience in streaming, Mazon joins Univision from Netflix, where he most recently served as VP of Content. Mazon will be responsible for all elements of the SVOD service, including content and programming strategy, original content production, talent relations, content acquisitions from third-party producers, and subscriber growth and retention. Mazon’s appointment follows the recent addition of Michael Cerdá as Univision’s new EVP, Product, and Engineering, Streaming. Cerdá joined the company from Disney+, where he was global head of product, and oversees the product and engineering strategy for Univision’s streaming portfolio. Rafael Urbina, Univision’s EVP & GM, AVOD Streaming, continues to lead PrendeTV and will lead the future free ad-supported tier both in the U.S. and internationally.
“Today’s announcement is a quantum leap in Univision’s transformation as we aggressively scale and expand our streaming capabilities to bring thousands of hours of premium, original content to the nearly 600 million Spanish speakers around the world,” said Pierluigi Gazzolo, President and Chief Transformation Officer at Univision. “We are excited to announce our new SVOD service as a powerful cornerstone of this strategy, providing us the opportunity to reach global audiences with high-quality, original programming from distinguished producers and top talent not available anywhere else. With PrendeTV, and now with our SVOD offering, Univision is uniquely positioned to satisfy the global demand for premium Spanish-language content, the last truly meaningful open lane in global video streaming.” Gazzolo continued, “Today’s announcement of our planned expansion is further bolstered by the impressive executive team leading our SVOD offering and PrendeTV. With this team, we are bringing together some of the deepest and most relevant expertise in streaming across the media landscape. Rodrigo brings to Univision more than a decade of streaming experience from leading services such as Netflix and Hulu, where he established a proven track record of identifying programming trends that quickly engaged audiences as well as attracting notable creative talent across the entertainment industry.”
Rodrigo Mazon, EVP & GM of SVOD, said, “Univision is an iconic brand and the leading Spanish-language media company in the United States. The previously announced merger between Televisa and Univision will create a company of unprecedented creative resources in the Spanish-speaking world. I could not be more excited to join such a unique company and visionary team at a pivotal time in Univision’s growth and transformation trajectory. I am eager to help drive Univision’s global expansion through the launch of our SVOD service, which will enable us to engage global streaming audiences with compelling storytelling opportunities from our creative community.” Mazon continued, “Today we are only sharing a mere glimpse into the unrivaled Spanish-language originals’ slate that our SVOD service will feature. In addition to having direct access to the largest Spanish-language studio in the world, Televisa, Univision is also opening its doors to invite established and emerging Spanish-language creators to join us in developing what will undoubtedly be the most prolific Spanish-language streaming service.”
“With today’s announcement, we are giving an early view into the scale and scope of our streaming ambitions. My partners and I closed on our acquisition of Univision less than six months ago, and I am incredibly proud of the progress we have made to date. With the acquisition and integration of VIX and the launch of the current, early version of PrendeTV, we now have an audience that is more than 7M users worldwide and growing rapidly,” said Univision CEO Wade Davis. “Pierluigi has brought together some of the best streaming executives in the industry. Michael has built, scaled, and globalized one of the most successful streaming products in the world. Rafael has extensive experience scaling large, ad-supported video audiences, and Rodrigo is a pioneer in premium Spanish-language streaming and content. With this team and the resources we are allocating, we will launch a service that is differentiated, high quality, and best in class.”
The ad-supported tier (AVOD) will be anchored by Univision’s current free Spanish-language streaming service, PrendeTV. This free tier will feature an upgraded, broadcast-quality content proposition, including select originals, major studio films, premium Spanish-language titles, an expanded live sports offering, and a unique 24/7 news service. In total, the free tier will have over 100 linear channels and over 40,000 hours of wholly-owned and acquired content that will also be offered in VOD form.
The new premium subscription tier (SVOD) will feature more than 6,000 hours of Spanish-language content and more than 30 original productions exclusively on the service within its first year. The original productions for the service are being developed by some of the most notable established and up-and-coming creators in Spanish-language content today. Today, we are announcing projects with Maria Dueñas, Santiago Limon, and Mario Vargas Llosa, with many more to be announced in the coming weeks. The vision for the premium SVOD offering is to bring audiences more originally produced Spanish-language content than any other streaming service globally.
The service will be home to the most renowned and celebrated creators in Spanish-language media. As the first premium service specifically designed to serve the global Spanish-language audience, Univision will provide the resources and creative freedom to develop in-language, authentic, world-class content that our community deserves. The SVOD tier will launch with more than 30 original productions throughout 2022, featuring globally recognized and award-winning producers, creators and writers, including:
- Maria Dueñas: Bestselling author of “El tiempo entre costuras” (The Time in Between) and “La templanza” (The Vineyard) whose television streaming adaptations have found critical and international acclaim, has signed a first-look deal with Univision for her future content and novels and will develop her first-ever series exclusively for Univision’s SVOD streaming service.
- Mario Vargas Llosa: Internationally acclaimed Peruvian author and Nobel Prize winner Vargas Llosa will have his 2006 novel “Travesuras de la niña mala” (The Bad Girl) adapted into a television series, which will be executive produced by Patricio Wills from Televisa’s W Studios. The novel is an epic love story set in the 1960s across various cities in Europe.
- Santiago Limon: Creator and co-writer of the hit comedy film “Hasta que la boda nos separe” and director and executive producer of the highly anticipated reboot of “Rebelde,” as well as director of the renowned television series “La búsqueda” (The Search) and director for some episodes of “Casa de las flores” (House of Flowers), Limon, together with Ben Silverman, executive producer of “Jane The Virgin” and “Ugly Betty,” from Propagate, will bring “Pinches Momias” an action, horror and comedy series in which Guanajuato’s renowned mummies come back from the dead during the busiest week of the year, and a group of troubled teenagers become the town’s only hope to survive.
- “Mujer del Diablo”: An original series created by Leonardo Padron, who was the writer of “Amar a Muerte”, “Rubi” and “Si Nos Dejan,” some of Univision and Televisa’s most popular primetime series.
- “No Llegaron Solos”: Univision has inked a development deal with Caracol Televisión, 360 Powwow and Isla Audiovisual for this historical series. “No Llegaron Solos” is an intense, epic story reviving the conquest of the Americas and depicting the amazing journey of legendary Catalina de Erauso, one of the most rebellious women of all time. The series portrays the adventures of the three women who came with the Spanish conquistadors to settle in Latin America; among them, Erauso, the Spanish runaway novice who disguised herself as a man, rising to the rank of lieutenant in the colonial army in South America.
“I am thrilled to be creating my first streaming series for such an impactful Spanish-language brand as Univision,” said Maria Dueñas. “Creating an original series alongside a team who understands the importance of creating in-language content for the millions of Spanish speakers around the world is a dream come true.”Mario Vargas Llosa commented, “Univision’s invitation to join a newly developing community of Spanish-language creators under one expansive umbrella is a true game-changer for us. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute at the onset of this visionary service and look forward to bringing quality Spanish-language content to life alongside the talented team at Univision.”
Santiago Limon said, “For too long, Spanish-language content has been marginalized and relegated to an industry afterthought. Univision’s expanded streaming offering provides a focused and prestigious home to Spanish-language content with a singular mission. I could not be more excited to join and collaborate with this exciting roster of fellow creatives.”
Today’s announcement is a quantum leap in Univision’s transformation as we aggressively scale and expand our streaming capabilities to bring thousands of hours of premium, original content to the nearly 600 million Spanish speakers around the world” Pierluigi Gazzolo President and Chief Transformation Officer at Univision