Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ESPN Deportes Announces New Programming Initiatives for 2011-2012 Season

Network debuts first original scripted series; Launches first Spanish-language local site; Marquee soccer acquisitions


NEW YORK, May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- ESPN Deportes, the most-watched and highest-rated Spanish-language sports cable network in the U.S., enters the 2011-2012 Upfront Season with a series of innovative programming, focusing on original content, including its first original scripted series, the launch of ESPN Deportes' first local Spanish-language site, reinforcing its commitment to reaching sports fans through multimedia platforms; and the acquisition of marquee soccer programming. The network announced these ground-breaking initiatives at the company's overall Upfront presentation for advertisers and clients in New York City.  

New Online Destination for Los Angeles Sports fans

ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com
ESPN Deportes and Time Warner Cable launch ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com, the first Spanish-language site fully dedicated to covering sports for the local fan in Los Angeles. The co-branded site features exclusive, local-relevant and original content -focused on analysis and opinion- created by ESPN Deportes multiple platforms and award-winning contributors based in Los Angeles, Mexico, New York, and Miami. The site provides exclusive columns, daily blogs on LA local teams, interviews with players and coaches, and investigative journalism. The Spanish-language online destination will also allow fans to be part of the journalistic process by offering continued interaction with the writers and analysts via weekly chats and social media pages.  

The site features contributions from veteran ESPN Deportes reporters and well-known writers connected closely to Los Angeles, who will provide original content on Los Angeles sports topics.  Regular contributors will include general columnist Rafa Ramos, one of Los Angeles' most reputable reporters, having covered six World Cups; three Copa America (Paraguay 1999, Colombia 2001, Venezuela 2007); and the Olympic Games in Los Angeles 1984 and Atlanta 1996. Most recently, Ramos served as a reporter and soccer columnist for La Opinion, the largest Spanish-language daily newspaper in the U.S.  Ramos has been contributing to ESPN Deportes for over five years as panelist for Juego Cruzado, the network's Spanish-language version of Around the Horn, and also as co-host of ESPN Deportes Radio's morning show Raza Deportiva.

Enrique Rojas from ESPNdeportes.com will also serve as a general columnist, covering all the baseball related local news. With more than 20 years of journalistic experience, Rojas reports on MLB breaking news and has had unprecedented international impact. He has covered Olympic Games (2004), Pan American Games (2003), three Centrobasket tournaments, 15 Series del Caribe, two World Baseball Classics, eight MLB All-Star Games and seven consecutive World Series.  Rojas has secured numerous exclusives including breaking news surrounding Sammy Sosa, A-Rod, Manny Ramirez, Miguel Cabrera, Jose Bautista, amongst many others.  Prior to joining ESPN Deportes Rojas served as a correspondent for Associated Press (AP) in the Dominican Republic.

Original Content
El Diez
ESPN Deportes debuts its first original scripted series, El Diez, a star-studded 10-episode scripted-drama that chronicles the life of a professional soccer player who arrives to Mexico City in search of glory. Starring Alfonso Herrera, Mexican (star of Latin America Television and Film), El Diez takes viewers through the journey of Chava Espinoza (Alfonso Herrera), a young soccer player from Ocotlan, Jalisco, whose performance in the Under-20 World Cup makes him an overnight star. Chava arrives to the capital alongside his childhood friend Jesus "El Cremas" Ramirez (Ernesto Loera) and his manager Gonzalo Gomez (Mauricio Quintana).

Chava is constantly hounded by the media, including Ximena Calleja, an attractive, ambitious and smart journalist who doesn't let anyone into her personal life, until she meets Chava. Throughout his journey, Chava faces the ups and downs of being a superstar and the enormous burden of fans' expectations. He struggles with personal problems and as he is about to leave it all behind, his friends intervene, putting him back on track. The story is anchored on Chava's quest to earn the team's number 10 jersey, worn by soccer legends and coveted by all players.

El Diez is shot in HD on location in Mexico City, with a filmic style and storylines that mirror today's headlines. El Diez will showcase some of Mexico's most legendary and iconic sports locations, making both Mexico City and the country another character in the show. The series is slated to premiere in the fall of 2011.

Studio Show
E:60
Following the format of ESPN Emmy Award-winning prime-time newsmagazine E:60, ESPN Deportes launches its own version of the show featuring a team of renowned reporters pursuing culturally-relevant stories that take an inside look at the world of sports. E:60 is the first prime-time sports newsmagazine  on Spanish-language television in the U.S.  The newsmagazine will be led by the hosts Jose Ramon Fernandez, David Faitelson and Jorge Ramos and a team of the network's 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. The stories will look at the business of soccer, the Latin American impact on MLB, heart attacks and athletes, the challenges boxers face after their careers are over, the story of two soccer players and the war in Yugoslavia and a moving look at boxer killed in the ring who donated his organs so others could live.

E:60 is produced by a team of seasoned and award-winning documentary producers, with content distributed across multiple ESPN Deportes platforms, including ESPNdeportes.com, ESPN Deportes Radio, ESPN Deportes La Revista and ESPN Deportes Movil.  The show debuts June 13 with a look at the Latin Impact on MLB, the journey of Latin ball players in the Major League Baseball.

Events and Launches
Pan American Games
ESPN Deportes will provide exclusive Spanish-language television coverage of the XVI Pan American Games - "Guadalajara 2011" - from October 14 to 30.  The Pan American Games take place every four years, the year before the Olympic Games, and feature 36 sports competed at the Summer Olympics.  More than 6,000 athletes are expected to compete in Guadalajara this fall, representing 42 nations from the Americas. This is the third time that Mexico hosts the event, and the first held in the state of Jalisco.  

World Football Challenge
This summer, ESPN Deportes will provide Spanish-language television coverage of the third annual World Football Challenge. Beginning on July 13 and concluding on July 30, four of the best soccer teams in Europe – Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Manchester City– will face off top North American teams – Club America, New England Revolution, Los Angeles Galaxy, Vancouver Whitecaps, Toronto FC, Chicago Fire, Chivas and Chivas USA- at some of the most recognized stadiums across the U.S.
Under the agreement, ESPN will air more than 10 live matches of the tournament across four different platforms including: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3.com and ESPN Deportes. The Spanish-language network will also present extensive news and information coverage following the entire tournament with special reports for Fuera de Juego and Futbol Picante.

UEFA EURO 2012
In its continued effort to present the most comprehensive soccer programming for the U.S. Hispanic fans, ESPN Deportes will be the exclusive Spanish-language television network in the United States for one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world: the UEFA EURO 2012.  Taking place from June 8 to July 1 in Poland and the Ukraine, the UEFA EURO 2012 will include 31 matches of the top European national teams.  

As part of the agreement, ESPN to provide extensive and exclusive live coverage of the UEFA EURO 2012 across a variety of ESPN multimedia platforms, including ESPN Deportes, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3.com, ESPN Radio, ESPN Authenticated Services, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN.com, ESPNSoccernet.com, and ESPNDeportes.com. In addition, in-progress and post-match highlights can be featured across key ESPN outlets.

The agreement extends ESPN's relationship with UEFA and follows the ratings success earned during the UEFA EURO 2008 which proved to be very popular among American audiences.  More than 41 million viewers in the United States tuned into live UEFA EURO 2008 matches across ESPN networks.

ESPN Deportes HD
ESPN Deportes is now available in high definition, presenting the network's top programming lineup including coverage of Spain's La Liga, Barclay's English Premier League, EURO 2012 qualifiers, international soccer friendlies, German's Bundesliga, Dutch League, Major League Soccer, Mexican First Division, MLB, NBA, NFL and tennis among other sports. In addition to live events, most of the network's news and information programs will be produced in high definition. ESPN Deportes HD is delivered as a full simulcast of the ESPN Deportes standard definition channel and is currently available to Time Warner customers in New York City and will be launching June 1st to Bright House customers in Tampa/Orlando, FL and Time Warner Laredo, TX.   

SOURCE ESPN Deportes

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