Not content with scoring double-digit ratings growth, the
nation's two largest Spanish-language networks, Univision and Telemundo, this
month unveiled their respective plans to enter the licensing business.
The hope: That U.S. Hispanics will buy their merchandise as well
as watch their shows.
On June 2, around the time of this year's Licensing
International Expo in Vegas, Telemundo announced its first-ever merchandising
initiative by signing a partnership with New York-based branded entertainment
company Big Tent Entertainment. Under the deal, Big Tent becomes Telemundo's
exclusive licensing agency of record for the U.S. Hispanic market.
The idea is to help NBC Universal-owned Telemundo continue
to evolve from a TV network to a full-fledged lifestyle brand, said senior vice
president of consumer marketing Susan Solano. Financial terms were not
Licensing deals will be made through the NBC Universal
Television, DVD, Music and Consumer Products
division. Although no products are yet in development, the company aims at
leveraging some of its most popular properties, including Club de Noveleras, Mujer de
Hoy, Rumbo al Mundial, Al Rojo Vivo and Ritmo Deportivo, among others.
"We are still in the early stages, but we see a huge
potential in products targeted to women, from health and beauty products to
clothes, jewelry and home dÃ©cor," said Solano.
The expected retail launch of the initial Telemundo
lifestyle line is scheduled for the first quarter of 2010.
Also set to turn its shows into lucrative memorabilia is Univision
Communications, which this month announced a partnership with privately held
Delivery Agent, a San Francisco-based company that specializes in
shopping-enabled programming for TV shows, motion pictures and sports. The
deal, whose terms were not disclosed, includes the development of a
multichannel commerce operation to "shop-enable" some Univision, TeleFutura and
As part of this partnership, Delivery Agent will create
merchandise assortments for Univision's most properties, such as RepÃºblica Deportiva, Premio Lo Nuestro a la MÃºsica Latina and
Nuestra Belleza Latina. The
properties do not include shows or property produced by Univision's programming
partner, Grupo Televisa.
Univision spokesperson said it is too soon to give out specifics as to which
shows will be the first to turn into merchandise. In a statement, the companies
said they will launch the "interactive commerce solution" during the fall, so
that Univision's audiences can purchase the new merchandise in time for the
holiday shopping season.