New Reality Program “Lights, Phone, Action” To Feature User-Generated Content Projects Produced Exclusively With Smartphones Leading Commercial Innovation
Network Launches Ad-Supported “The Year Of The Latina” Initiative
NEW YORK – APRIL 18, 2018 – Azteca America, a U.S.-based, Spanish-language network wholly-owned by HC2 Network Inc., a subsidiary of HC2 Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HCHC), unveiled its 2018-2019 programming line-up at its annual upfront presentation tonight at The Times Center in New York City. Headlining this year’s presentation is a strong programming slate with new original series, including a reality show with a format twist, updated findings from a recent Nielsen study, a network-wide initiative celebrating the many contributions of Hispanic women in the U.S., and the return of the MISS UNIVERSE® competition to the network. In addition, HC2 Network revealed it will be expanding its channel lineup with the launch of AZ Corazon, a 24/7 telenovela channel. The announcements were made by Azteca America executives Manuel Abud, President and Chief Executive Officer; Craig Geller, Executive Vice President, Network Sales, Digital and Marketing; and Margarita Black, Vice President of Programming. The executive team was joined by popular network talent Rafael Mercadante, and Penélope Menchaca, whose return to Spanish-language U.S. television also was announced Wednesday evening.
"This is an exciting time for Azteca America as we take the network to the next stage with the backing and support of our new parent company, HC2 Holdings Inc.,” said Abud. “Azteca America’s deep understanding of the Hispanic media landscape and unparalleled content pipeline, coupled with HC2’s commitment to broadcast television in the U.S., places us in a unique position to become a greater competitive force in the marketplace. This dynamic partnership and collaboration expands Azteca America’s broadcasting and distribution footprint to better serve our viewers, reaching a broader spectrum of U.S. Hispanics across our linear and digital channels.”
“Today’s consumer is in complete control and to find success, we must look beyond GRPs to cultural relevancy and provide content and environments across all screens to connect with and engage viewers,” added Geller. “We are strategic risk-takers, and we are heading into the new season establishing collaborative new partnerships between programming and sales. By creating new content to capture the hearts and minds of our valuable audience, we are able to deliver to our clients deeper audience engagement, allowing them to gain a bigger return on their investment.”
Azteca America is proud to announce the following original productions to its prime-time grid:
The first reality show to prove that a production no longer requires a significant investment when a smartphone is nearby. Through creativity, talent and charisma, the participants will develop and produce audiovisual projects using only their smartphones. Over the course of their productions, contestants will encounter several challenges that will prove who deserves to win.
The most gruesome stories made for Hispanic television come to life in this breakthrough horror show filled with mystery, suspense and the struggle for survival against the most evil and ruthless criminals. Cults and mentally unstable criminals are some of the main subjects portrayed in this episodic series that is sure to keep viewers up all night.
MISS UNIVERSE: This season, Azteca America returns for the fourth consecutive year as the exclusive U.S. Spanish-language broadcaster of the MISS UNIVERSE Competition, one of the most-viewed live events on television each year. Viewers will watch as 2017 Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, crowns her successor. Once again, this year’s program also will feature a prime time special, “Camino a la Corona,” showing behind-the-scenes footage of contestants preparing for their chance at the crown.
“EL GRITO”: On September 15, 2018, Azteca America will commemorate Mexico's Independence Day by presenting the beloved Ceremony for the Cry of Independence!, also known as El Grito. Broadcast from the beautiful National Palace to the sounds of bell tolls and fireworks, it will be a sole cry for liberty that can unite the entire Mexican community, wherever they may be, and bring them closer to home.
“AZTECA’S NEW YEAR’S SPECIAL”: Live from both New York and Mexico City, Azteca’s New Year’s celebration will be filled with lights, music and fireworks as we bid farewell to the old year and ring in the new with love, laughter and family!
“LAS MAÑANITAS A LA VIRGEN”: Live from La Basilica in Mexico City, the Azteca America family proudly joins the musical celebration of singing Las Mañanitas to the Virgin of Guadalupe, the sacred patron of Mexico. It is a tradition dating back generations, featuring our very own Azteca America on-camera talent who will be paying special tribute to the patron saint.
“Mi Pareja Puede” (based on the international format “My Man Can”): Four couples gamble on the abilities of their partners, putting their significant others’ courage and skills to the test. Hilarious challenges range from: which partner can eat the greatest number of chili peppers to who knows the most about cosmetics, and who can make a bed the fastest. One player sits at a gambling table and bets that his/her partner can accomplish certain tasks better than the competition. Which couple will walk away with the cash prize? Facundo hosts this fun-filled game show.
“Al Ritmo del Boxeo”: This hard-hitting reality series, hosted by Roberto Durán, infuses the sport of boxing with the live sounds of Latin Pop artists. Performances are expected by Yandel from the group Wisin Y Yandel, creating the first-ever Latin boxing tournament. Twenty talented Latin boxers from around the world will audition in front of a panel of judges for the opportunity to be chosen to compete on the show. The series aims to take viewers into the world of sports and music by examining the lifestyles and training regimens of the boxers as they prepare to fight their rivals from different cities. What’s at stake? Boxeo’s Latin World Championship belt, instantly qualifying the winner to be listed as a top ten contender in one of the top four sanctioning bodies.
Returning this upcoming season are prime-time favorites:
“Venga la Alegría” is a popular midday entertainment show with segments appealing to all audiences. The show features beauty tips, cooking lessons, games, comedy sketches, and health and nutrition advice presented by hosts Ingrid Coronado, Patricio Borghetti, Vanessa Claudio,Sergio Sepúlveda, Tábata Jalil, “El Capi” Pérez, Mariano Sandoval, Ricardo Casares and Tania Rincón.
“Ventaneando” exclusively on Azteca America, continues to be the go-to destination for juicy celebrity news from all over the U.S. and Mexico. Iconic hostess Pati Chapoy and her team, Jimena Pérez “La Choco,” Daniel Bisogno and Pedro Sola, serve up the hottest celebrity coverage. This season brings viewers more exclusive stories, surprising gossip and scandalous secrets!
“Al Extremo” is a bold newsmagazine show that dares to tell what other television programs will not air. Hosting the show is the distinguished pair, Juan Barragán and Gabriela Ávila. Gaby Crassus brings the show's signature thrills to weekends with “Al Extremo Fin de Semana.” Both editions present video clips covering a range of extraordinary events caught on tape, from gritty moments to humorous videos depicting life’s lighter moments. Tales of human interest, police stories, crime scenes, miraculous events, and the most audacious entertainment news make for an extreme hour of television viewing.
Host Rafael Mercadante and co-host Adianez Hérnandez present the popular game show “Escape Perfecto.” A team of two contestants work together as a team to answer trivia questions and complete physical challenges to haul prizes from a gigantic cage before the doors slam shut. With increasingly difficult questions in each of the 10 rounds, the team is offered bigger prizes with less and less time to answer the question correctly. Halfway through, the team will decide whether it wants to escape with the prizes it has or risk it all for the major prize selected at the beginning of the game.
Hosted by model and actress Catalina Aristizábal, “Desafio: Super Humanos” (The Challenge: Super Humans) takes viewers to beautiful beach locations in the Dominican Republic. This new edition brings the best high-performance athletes together to participate in physical competitions. The tests are designed to prove which competitor is the strongest, both mentally and physically.
“Pasion Deportiva,” the popular Sunday sports magazine show, returns with hosts Rafael Ayala, Paco González, Jackie Félix and Ivette Hernández.
“DeportTV,” hosted by Rafael Ayala and Óscar Francisco Cano, brings viewers weekly sports recaps to end the week.
Joaquín Ybarra and Rafael Ayala host “Box Azteca,” Azteca America’s weekly, two-hour-long, action-packed boxing fights.
“Lucha Azteca” brings the passion, color and drama of Mexican wrestling to the Azteca America screen every week in a news update format filled with video coverage of the latest matches.
As part of Azteca America’s expanded scale and distribution strategy, the network announced the launch of AZ Corazon, a 24/7 telenovela channel for novela enthusiasts. Airing in 20 markets across the U.S. and reaching 50% of the Hispanic market, programming on the channel will provide avid fans of this beloved program genre with the greatest dramas, comedies, classic shows and latest releases from the TV Azteca library.
Azteca America is committed to providing the greatest entertainment possible, regardless of genre, and the use of market intelligence and data will continue to contribute to the network’s decision-making with regard to content and programming. Stacie de Armas, , took center stage to present “The New Latina Demographic Revolution” and revealed updates to Nielsen’s “Latina 2.0 Study,” that underscored Azteca America value proposition to advertisers and partners. According to Nielsen, signs of the “Latina Ascent” are everywhere, from buying power growth that is outpacing the rest of the nation, to a flair for using social media and cultural affinity to cement bonds with other women and set their own standards of community, beauty and style.*
Among the insights revealed, Nielsen found that Latinas are among the most engaged consumers on mobile devices – 91% of Latinas own a Smartphone (up from 88% when the Latina 2.0 study was first released) which is 10% higher than their non-Hispanic white female counterparts. For advertisers, authentic brand engagement is key to the Latina consumer. Nielsen also found that 61% of Latinas agree that she is more likely to purchase brands that support a cause she cares about, and 43% agree that she expects the brands she buys to support social causes.
*Source: Nielsen’s Latina2.0 Demographics Fiscally Conscious, Culturally Influential and Familia Forward, 9.12.2017
“YEAR OF THE LATINA”
In addition to its four-year partnership with MISS UNIVERSE®, Azteca America will honor and celebrate the achievements of U.S. Hispanic women with the launch of the ad-supported “Year of the Latina” platform. The initiative will be guided by monthly themes and award recognitions and will incorporate a premium video initiative with content integrated into shows and live events. Azteca America will support the initiative with grassroots extensions, and “Year of the Latina” will be amplified across social media platforms.
Azteca America’s audience is empowered by the mobile device, and the network is making new investments to meet viewers where they are. Azteca America has grown and cultivated its digital audience four-fold in the past 10 months, by establishing a trustworthy environment designed for users to be engaged by information for and about them by real writers and creatives. Over 200 pieces of original content across various genres, including news, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, are posted to www.aztecamerica.com daily, creating a true hub for engaging content in a trusted environment.
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Forward Looking Statements
"Safe Harbor" Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This statement contains certain oral statements made by representatives of HC2 Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiary, HC2 Network Inc. (together, “HC2”), and from time to time may contain forward-looking statements. Generally, forward-looking statements include information describing the offering and other actions, events, results, strategies and expectations and are generally identifiable by use of the words "believes," "expects," "intends," "anticipates," "plans," "seeks," "estimates," "projects," "may," "will," "could," "might," or "continues" or similar expressions. These statements are based on the beliefs and assumptions of HC2’s management. HC2 believes these judgments are reasonable, but you should understand that these statements are not guarantees of performance or results, and HC2’s actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements due to a variety of important factors, both positive and negative, that may be revised or supplemented in subsequent reports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K. Factors that could cause actual results, events and developments to differ include, without limitation, capital market conditions, the ability of HC2 subsidiaries (including, target businesses following their acquisition) to generate sufficient net income and cash flows to make upstream cash distributions, the inability of HC2 and its subsidiaries to identify any suitable future acquisition opportunities, efficiencies/cost avoidance, cost savings, income and margins, growth, economies of scale, combined operations, future economic performance, conditions to, and the timetable for, completing the integration of financial reporting of acquired or target businesses with HC2 or HC2 subsidiaries, completing future acquisitions and dispositions, litigation, potential and contingent liabilities, management's plans, changes in regulations, taxes and the risks that may affect the performance of the operating subsidiaries of HC2 and those factors listed under the caption "Risk Factors" in HC2's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements described herein are qualified by these cautionary statements and there can be no assurance that the actual results, events or developments referenced herein will occur or be realized. HC2 does not undertake any obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes to future operation results.
About Azteca America Network
Azteca America is a U.S.-based Spanish-language television network that engages viewers by creating unique, passionate and enlightening content that is relevant to the daily lives of its Hispanic audience. Wholly owned by HC2 Network Inc., a subsidiary of HC2 Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HCHC), Azteca America delivers an innovative lineup of shows and series from world-renowned third-party producers and distributors to ensure the finest programming for its audience. The media company provides tailored, multi-platform advertising solutions for clients seeking to reach the most dynamic consumer group in the country.