Mexican Media Moguls Target Central Americans With Dedicated Service10/21/2008 12:20 PM Eastern
DirecTV is expected to officially announce this week the launch of Telecentro, a Spanish-language channel with programming from six TV networks in Central America.
Telecentro, which soft launched on the satellite leader this summer, hopes to capture the estimated 4 million to 6 million Central Americans who live in the United States with 24/7 live programming from their home countries, putting a special emphasis on live newscasts, variety shows and first division soccer matches. According to the Telecentro’s creators, the programs have been carefully chosen to bring the best shows from top networks in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama.
“There are channels and there are channels. But this is a super channel,” said John de Armas, vice president of WorldDirect for DirecTV, who will be the exclusive carrier of Telecentro, although he declined to specify the extension of such exclusivity.
The lineup will consist of a mix of programs from the region’s Canal 10, TCS, Televicentro, Repretel and Canal 3.
Three years in the making, Telecentro is the brainchild of Mexican TV moguls Remigio Angel González, who owns several TV stations throughout Latin America, and Guillermo Cañedo White, the former finance chief of Grupo Televisa and former president of Televisa-owned Club América soccer. González, who has been dubbed “El fantasma” (the ghost) for keeping a low profile in the media, is known for acquiring failing broadcasters and then turn them around.
A formal announcement and details of the business will be unveiled Thursday (Oct. 23) at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Located on channel 429 of the DirecTV Más platform, Telecentro’s rollout comes on the heels of the creation and launch of Cine Nostalgia, the 24-hour Mexican movie channel DirecTV co-created with Mexico-based movie producer Carlos Vasallo. Cine Nostalgia (channel 424) features over 1,200 films from Mexico’s golden era of cinema and is also part of the DirecTV Más platform.
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