TWC Deportes to Spotlight Robbie Rogers

'Galaxy Confidential' Will Profile First Openly Gay U.S. Pro Athlete
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Los Angeles-based regional sports channel Time Warner Cable Deportes will get up close to the first openly gay male athlete to play for a major U.S. professional sports team.

The Spanish-language RSN on June 22 will air a new episode of Galaxy Confidential, its docu-series on Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy, profiling Robbie Rogers, one of the team’s newest acquisitions.

Though the episode will not focus on Rogers’ sexuality, it will touch on the milestone and is just one example of the content aired by the Time Warner Cable-owned service, which operates networks in English and Spanish.

The half-hour, bi-weekly Galaxy Confidential premiered last October and follows the activities of Galaxy players — Hispanic or not — off the pitch, in the locker room or on the road. The series launched on TWC Deportes before moving to the English-language TWC SportsNet.

While both channels share some footage, there is often content curated to appeal specifically to the Galaxy’s large base of Hispanic fans.

 “This is a show designed for the real fans,” Enrique Aníbal Gutiérrez, senior producer and special correspondent for Time Warner Cable Deportes, tells HTU. “We take viewers where they’ve never been: On a plane, inside the locker rooms, celebrating a victory or even sulking after a defeat. We even follow [some players] as they’re getting their hair cut.”

In a recent episode, for example, producers followed one of Galaxy’s stars, Omar Gonzalez, as he travelled to Monterrey, Mexico, to visit his family. Most of that footage aired only on the Spanish-language version of the show.

A new episode of Galaxy Confidential is being aired every two weeks and the series will continue as the season plays out.

Galaxy Confidential is one of several shows produced especially as part of an exclusive, 10-year agreement between the team and Time Warner Cable Sports, the Galaxy’s local TV rights-holder.

Other exclusive programs include Galaxy En Vivo, a live, one-hour pre-game show, and Vamos Galaxy, a post-game analysis of Galaxy games including player and coach interviews, interactive fan participation segments.

 “This is by far the most valuable agreement we’ve signed for the team,” said Galaxy spokesperson Jaime Cardenas, which counts eight players of Hispanic origin, as well as some non-Hispanic stars who speak Spanish, such as Landon Donovan.

The Galaxy takes its connection with Hispanic fans one step further through nutrition company Herbalife’s 10-year, $44 million sponsorship extension with the MLS club. The pact, which runs through 2022, is the largest and longest such agreement in league history, and has funded team members’ trips to Latin America and soccer clinics in such countries as Costa Rica and Columbia, Cardenas said.

Time Warner Cable Deportes debuted in the fall of 2012, the product of the MSO’s $3 billion, 20-year television rights deal with the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers. It is the local TV home for all Lakers and Galaxy games, aired entirely in Spanish.

In addition to its coverage of the Lakers and Galaxy, TWC Deportes produces a daily soccer news show and coverage of such sports as boxing and lucha libre (professional wrestling).