Olympusat this week is expected to announce a content-partnership
deal with Cookie Jar Entertainment, one of the world's largest producers of
children and family programming, to expand programming options for its Hispanic
kids'-targeted net ¡Sorpresa!.
The multiyear deal, terms of which were not disclosed, will
give ¡Sorpresa! access to more than 6,000 titles, including The Busy
World of Richard Scarry, Mary-Kate & Ashley and Archie's
The agreement will also help ¡Sopresa! expand its
English-language programming offerings as the network transitions from a
Spanish-only network to a bilingual one. Shows will be available in Spanish
(dubbed), but with SAP access to English-language audio.
"Research shows us that most of our subscribers — over 75%
— are heavily bilingual," Olympusat senior vice president of marketing and
business development Albert Estrada said. "We realized we had to address that,
so we re-programmed the channel to offer programming in Spanish-only, bilingual
Estrada, a satellite veteran who has worked for HBO and
DirecTV in both the U.S. and Latin American markets, said ¡Sorpresa! is
evolving to serve not only U.S. Hispanic families that want to preserve the
Spanish-language, but also a growing demographic of English-speaking families
that want their kids to learn some Spanish as well.
"We have also noticed
a very interesting process of acculturation that happens throughout the
daytime," he said. "Families were tuning in to Spanish-only programs in the
early morning, then moving to some educational, bilingual programming later in
the day and finally, they would leave the network seeking English-only content
elsewhere. We don't want them to leave our network."
¡Sorpresa!, which in 2009 was acquired by Olympusat from
Firestone/Juniper Content, currently reaches 1.5 million subscribers. U.S. and
Puerto Rico cable affiliates include Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications,
Cox Communications ad the National Cable Television Cooperative.