UPFRONT: Univision Aims for the Heart - Broadcasting & Cable

UPFRONT: Univision Aims for the Heart

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Univision delivered a high-energy upfront presentation at Home of Jazz at the Time Warner Center this morning, reinforcing the Spanish-language network’s multi-level relationship with its audience. Univision execs, including CEO Joe Uva and President/COO Ray Rodriguez, echoed the buzzword "heart" to deliver this message.

The message took precedence over the new programming slate, which the advertising community didn’t get a peek at until more than 45 minutes into the presentation. To illustrate his point, Uva spoke about the calls the Univision switchboard gets from viewers, asking about which schools to send their children to and which doctors to patronize. "Like State Farm," said Uva, "Univision is there for them."

A panel of 14 Everyman/woman viewers—dubbed "Team Univision"--sat onstage and spoke about why they watched Univision, as well as sister networks Telefutura and Galavision.

The new slate features novelas such as Pasion and Muchachitas Como Tu, the weekend primetime program Los 5 Magnificos, which is a celeb-driven circus show, Amas de Casa Desesperadas, a Spanish-language version of Desperate Housewives, and the Sunday morning news program Al Punto, among others. There’s also a mini-series created and executive produced by entertainer Jennifer Lopez called Como Ama una Mujer, based on her recent album of the same name.

On hand to speak about the series, Lopez said the idea struck her while in the bathtub, at which point she wrote through the night. In sharing the treatment with Ray Rodriguez, she said both had tears in their eyes. "It’s ambitious yet entertaining," she said. "It’s about figuring out what true love really is."

Lopez was but one of a cavalcade of stars on hand. Cristina Saralegui, Mario Kreutzberger (a.k.a. "Don Francisco") and Barbara Bermudo were there to salute the ad community, the pop group RBD performed in front of the building, and Marc Anthony fronted a 15-piece band for a well-received three-song set.

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