News

New Spanish Net Eyes Summer Launch

2/17/2004 4:00 PM Eastern

Looking to appeal to the growing English-speaking and acculturated U.S. Hispanic marketplace, VOY Network LLC expects to launch a cable network this summer, mixing lifestyle, pop culture and community programming.

President and CEO Andrew Thau said the network -- aimed principally at adults 18-49 -- will debut July 19.

Thau -- a TV veteran who was senior vice president of operations and network development at Fox Cable Networks before joining VOY last August -- said the service has been speaking with MSOs and satellite distributors and it is seeking digital distribution on the most fully penetrated tiers, and not just Latino tiers.

He added that VOY would also work toward developing programming for video-on-demand platforms.

He declined to specify rate-card terms, noting that the network would be flexible "to meet our financial goals and operator needs."

Original programming -- reflecting Hispanics with star quality and others who would attain their own high profile -- would constitute the "majority" of VOY’s fare at launch. Thau wouldn’t identify any development deals or specific shows.

Thau said the programming would not only target Latinos who speak English, but would also have a crossover appeal to mainstream TV audiences, particularly in urban settings.

From an advertising perspective, Thau added, VOY is open to product integration, show sponsorship and program underwriting, in addition to the inclusion of traditional 30-second units.

The network is owned by VOY LLC, a media company that also includes music, publishing and TV-production units. VOY Pictures, the company’s feature-film division, recently announced deals with Michelle Rodrigues, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Hispanic producers, writers and directors en route to what it expects will be the production of 12-15 films over the next three years.

Thau said the network hopes to work with top-notch talent in developing projects for the small screen.

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