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To Win Over ‘Armored Hearts,’ MundoFox Puts Callers on the Line

10/21/2012 8:00 PM Eastern

MundoFox is pulling all the stops to promote its upcoming series Corazones Blindados (Armored Hearts), a fictionalized 80-episode series narrating the life of policemen — and women — in Bogotá, Colombia.

To introduce the series to advertisers and distributors, the RCN Television and Fox co-owned Hispanic network, which launched in August, held a redcarpet screening and party at Barry Diller’s IAC headquarters in New York’s Chelsea last Thursday (Oct. 18).

Series stars Majida Issa (Diana Ochoa) and Andrés Sandoval (Raúl Avila) greeted reporters and media buyers, as did TV personality and philanthropist Laura Posada, the wife of former New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada.

The show gets more Manhattan exposure today (Oct. 22) when MundoFox launches oversize digital billboards featuring Sandoval and Issa at the corner of 42nd Street and 8th Avenue.

But the network has a distribution challenge in Manhattan, where it has not yet struck a carriage deal with Time Warner Cable. (It has local carriage on Verizon’s FiOS TV and on Cablevision Systems in Brooklyn and the Bronx.)

“I am a Time Warner Cable customer, and there’s no way I can get Mundo Fox on my lineup,” one disappointed Colombian attendee told The Wire at the Corazones event. “I have to either ask my family in Colombia what happened in tonight’s episode or try to catch an episode online.”

MundoFox wants to help those fans make their feelings known — by phone.

“We have set up a special hotline, inviting Latinos to ask for MundoFox carriage,” Oswald Mendez, marketing chief at MundoFox, told The Wire.

Calls to 1-855-tu-Canal (1-855-88-22- 62-56) go to a Spanish-language automated system and a greeting from a MundoFox representative. Callers are urged to press numbers based on their multichannel provider.

“We are sorry your current provider doesn’t offer MundoFox,” a TWC subscriber, identifi ed by ZIP code, would be told. “Please do press No. 1 to be directed to your cable provider and ask them to be connected to MundoFox.”

MundoFox marketers kicked off the call-forwarding gambit last week. Corazones Blindados makes its U.S. debut tonight (Oct. 22) on the network at 8 p.m. ET.

NBCUniversal Shuffles Distribution Execs In (CTAM) Timely Fashion

Nothing like having a national gathering of your peers as the backdrop for bigname personnel changes.

At last week’s CTAM Summit in Orlando, Fla., news broke (via B&C) that Bridget Baker, the longtime NBCUniversal affiliate marketer, was leaving as president of TV networks distribution in November, and that Mac Budill is coming on board in a top affiliate marketing job at NBCU under content distribution chief Matt Bond.

Budill has been executive vice president of programming at Cablevision Systems, where he worked for two decades. Cablevision has declined to comment on his departure, but sources said he left earlier this month. Budill’s second in command at Cablevision is senior vice president Tom Montemagno.

Bond shifted from content acquisition, at Comcast, to content distribution, at NBCU, after Comcast took control of NBCU two years ago. Baker and JB Perrette, president of digital and affiliate distribution reported to Bond. Perrette left NBCU a year ago and is chief digital officer at Discovery Communications.

NBCU networks’ deals with some big distributors, including Dish Network and Charter Communications, expire late this year, Sports Business Journal reported and sources confirmed to The Wire.

NBCU also recently brought on board Juliette Morris, a former affiliate marketer at MTV Networks, as SVP of marketing & strategic partnerships in the Content Distribution Group. She’s expected to report to Budill, whose hiring could be announced early this week.

In another timely hire, ahead of the Cable- Tec Expo in Orlando, Charter CEO Tom Rutledge brought in yet another ex-Cablevision colleague, Jim Blackley, as EVP of technology and information technology.

Cablevision in May had brought in his replacement, Yvette Kanouff, as EVP of corporate engineering and technology.
— Kent Gibbons and Mike Reynolds

GIANT LEAP FOR CABLE

Felix Baumgartner’s historic space jump on Sunday (Oct. 14) helped set records for Discovery Channel and Velocity, averaging a cumulative 5.2 million viewers. Baumgartner’s jump from 125,000 feet above the Earth aired exclusively on Velocity and Discovery Channel in the U.S., though it was seen by millions more on YouTube. And in November, National Geographic Channel will air a two-hour special on the Red Bull Stratos mission, co-produced by NGC, the BBC and Red Bull Media House.

September