Estrella Media's Channel Empire on the Upfront March

By Upfronts/NewFronts Archives
Cover image for  article: Estrella Media's Channel Empire on the Upfront March

Just six days after Estrella Media conducted a 15-minute portion of NewFronts 2023 from Convene's Battery Park City complex in lower Manhattan, the Spanish-language programmer delivered a 30-minute virtual Upfront appeal. For this May 9 follow-up, Estrella made liberal use of The Time Tunnel-like environment that's home to its long-running, Los Angeles-based nightly seriesTengo Talento, Mucho Talento.

The Big Message: With its mothership broadcast network and four channels distributed via smart TV sets and devices, Estrella Media delivers a growing Latino audience that tunes out the more established Spanish-language networks. Going forward, through its new Estrella Media Audience Solutions (EMAS) ad sales and marketing rep division, companies and brands will deal with a content resource taking aggressive steps to help them accomplish reach goals and foster campaign innovations. "We are a modern media platform," said Steve Mandala, Estrella Media's Chief Revenue and Local Media Officer, "and we do it with an authentic voice and personality."

Host: Mandala handled the majority of presentation time, joined for individual segments by new Chief Content Officer Enrique Guillen and Chief Digital and Streaming Officer Rene Santaella.

What Worked: Guillen's portion, demonstrating right off the bat a desire to counterprogram the primetime lineups of other Spanish-language broadcast channels, with special appeal for Mexican Americans. He didn't waste time giving us an idea of what's in store this fall, accompanied by snappy appearances from the on-camera talent involved.

What Also Worked: Following-up and elaborating on the mission of EMAS, which came to light first at NewFronts 2023. Besides Estrella Media's services, EMAS will provide ad sales and marketing support initially for three other suppliers of Spanish-language broadcast and smart product-circulating networks: Hemisphere Media, TV Azteca and BeIn Sports. The BeIn Sports agreement covers both that company's English and Spanish-language channels.

What Didn't Work: The lack of details on new 2023-24 season content on Estrella Media's smart TV-distributed services -- Estrella TV, Estrella News, Cine Estrella TV -- and especially Estrella Games, which remains the only U.S.-centric network of its genre in Spanish, offering a variety of original game show formats.

Data Points: Viewership of Estrella Media's channels is younger and more gender-balanced in the top-10 designated market areas (DMAs). About one-third of that viewership does not watch Univision, Telemundo or Unimas. A growing number of viewers are more likely to marry, hold high-income jobs and own homes. For the first three months of 2023, the smart product-distributed channels cultivated over 100 million video sessions. Santaella projected that this month, these channels will attract about 10 million unique viewers.

News: Estrella TV will present more than 2,160 hours of first-run programming in the season ahead. A two-hour weeknight live programming block will debut this fall. El Lavadero will occupy the first hour at 8 p.m. Eastern time, consisting of roundtable pop-culture discussions before a studio audience, mixed with viral moments, hidden camera sequences and home viewer interactivity. Tu-Night Con Angelica Y Nacho/Your Night with Angelica and Nachois a comedy/variety/talk hour at 9 p.m. Eastern time that will originate from Los Angeles and Mexico City (co-hosted by comedienne Angelica Vale in L.A. and Nacho Lozaro in Mexico City), and provide humorous reactions to news and cultural issues. Another new fall attraction is Sabado de Concierto/Concert Saturday, presenting performances by top artists in several musical genres, from Mexican regional to Latin pop. Recently launched daytime and early evening series will increase the number of feature segments devoted to health, legal and wellness information, opening the door to ongoing segment sponsorships.

Parting Words:

"We're offering a clear alternative to a crowded marketplace." -- New Estrella Media Chief Content Officer Enrique Guillen

"This is not your average sit-on-the-couch talk show. We want this to be the most inclusive town square for the Hispanic audience." -- El Lavadero host Sergio Bruna

"Free advertiser-supported television is … big and bold." -- Rene Santaella, Estrella Media Chief Digital Officer

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