Capitalizing on its game shows and rights to Mexican fútbol, Azteca América kicked off its 2016-2017 upfront last night in Los Angeles with the theme “Game On!”
Manuel Abud, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Craig Geller, EVP of Network Sales and Digital led the new programming and digital offerings presentation, which included the announcement that the company is launching production studio Azteca Glassworks to create customized, multi-platform content.
During the event, held at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, Abud told advertisers the network opted for a more personal approach to this year’s upfronts by taking the show on the road, rather than having them flock to New York.
He highlighted Azteca’s audience growth among U.S. Hispanics, saying it’s “the fastest-growing Spanish-language network in primetime,” showing graphs with Nielsen data indicating over 40% growth among adults 18-49 and 44% among adults 18-34.
Next stops on the tour: Chicago, New York and Dallas.
Azteca is focusing on a simple Monday-Friday primetime programming strategy. Starting at 7 pm, game shows; reality programming at 8 pm; newsmagazine “Al Extremo” at 9 pm and series at 10 pm.
Mexican soccer will dominate weekends.
Here’s the rundown of Azteca’s 2016-2017 programming:
“Ahora Caigo” – a crossword-style game show where a single contestant tries to beat 10 other individuals for a chance to win a grand prize. (7 pm)
“Desafío” – Competition that tests human endurance, where players battle against each other and the forces of nature in places like Morocco and India. Using a system of progressive elimination, contestants compete for cash and other prizes. (8 pm)
“Rabia” – action thriller that follows a group of people who underwent experimental gene therapy and are now suffering from an outbreak of rabies that’s sweeping the country. After the government quarantines victims in detention centers, a group manages to escape and hide in an abandoned shelter. Filmed in Madrid and Malaga. (10 pm)
“Venga la Alegría” -midday entertainment show hosted by Poncho de Anda, Ingrid Coronado, Carlos Arenas, Sergio Sepúlveda, Tábata Jalil, Raúl Osorio, Vanessa Claudio and Tania Rincón.
“Ventaneando” – celebrity gossip show, hosted by Mexican icon Pati Chapoy and her team, Atala Sarmiento, Daniel Bisogno, Cesar Casares, and Pedro Sola.
“Al Extremo” – news magazine hosted by Verónica del Castillo and Juan Barragán.
“Al Extremo Fin de Semana” – weekend edition hosted by Gaby Crassus.
“Todo o Nada” – game show hosted by Mauricio Barcelata.
“Escape Perfecto” – game show with hosts Rafael Mercadante.
“La Isla” – Mexican reality show more commonly known as La Isla El Reality, is in its fifth season. One group of contestants is comprised of Mexican celebrities, also known as the “Famous” players, while two other groups of unknown participants are known as the “Challengers.”
Azteca América continues to score big ratings on Friday and Saturday nights, airing home matches of First Division league teams, featuring play-by-play announcers Christian Martinoli and Luis García, along with some of the top sports analysts of Mexican soccer.