MIAMI, June 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- WAPA America, the cable network arm of the #1 broadcast network in Puerto Rico—WAPA Television—and Cinelatino, the leading Spanish-language movie network in the United States, unveiled new programming and other exciting announcements for the 2016-17 television season in an event for advertising agencies and key partners on Thursday, June 9,, at Manhattan's celebrated contemporary Mexican restaurant, Cosme.
Both WAPA America and Cinelatino are owned and operated by Hemisphere Media Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: HMTV) ("Hemisphere"), the only publicly traded pure-play U.S. media company targeting the high-growth Spanish-language television and cable networks business in the U.S.
James M. McNamara, Vice Chairman of Hemisphere, and Jose E. Ramos, President of WAPA Television, participated in a panel discussion regarding the networks' upcoming programming announcements, which was hosted by Hemisphere's EVP of Client Partnerships, Lucia Ballas-Traynor.
During the panel, Cinelatino announced an agreement to produce four exclusive, original multiscreen movies with Argos Comunicaciones, Mexico's leading production company. Argos is the creator of the international novela phenomenon, "El Senor de los Cielos," as well as many enormously successful telenovelas and movies. The first two movies will be directed by Walter Doehner, director of "El Senor de Los Cielos," and will draw on Argos' unique production capabilities and star-studded talent pool.
"Argos is the hottest company in Spanish-language creative right now and they consistently deliver high-quality, highly-rated programs," said McNamara. "We are thrilled to once again partner with them and we look forward to the opportunity to integrate our clients—from script development and product placement, to organic integrations in exclusive digital extensions of the films."
Cinelatino also announced two major projects centered around the "narco" culture, which has been fascinating U.S. Hispanic audiences. This fall, Cinelatino will be premiering the first-ever narco-romantic comedy, "Cuernito Armani" ("Cuernito Armani: Bullets, Lies and Love"), inspired by the wildly successful "narco-corrido" narrative song by popular Mexican banda singer, "El Komander."
Cinelatino also has plans to co-produce a five-part series based on the life of El Cholo, the right-hand man to the world's most notorious drug lord, El Chapo. Known as the key hitman for the most powerful drug cartel in the hemisphere, El Cholo escaped from prison multiple times and was a fugitive until he was captured alongside El Chapo in January of this year. This production will mark the first opportunity to see the exclusive story of this elusive and legendary killer.
Known for having the largest library of the most successful contemporary Latin films, Cinelatino also announced the exclusive U.S. television premiere of the wildly popular musical hit "¿Que Le Dijiste a Dios?" (What Did You Say to God?), featuring the greatest hits of international megastar Juan Gabriel. For the first time in the network's history, Cinelatino will be transmitting the karaoke version of the film so fans can sing along to the musician's most beloved hits at home.
Ramos made some exciting announcements on behalf of WAPA America as well. The network has secured the exclusive U.S. premiere of Sila, the Turkish novela that has been sweeping audiences across the globe.
"Turkish novelas are a phenomenon among viewers all over the world right now, especially among Latino audiences" said Ramos. "Sila has all of the elements that viewers want in a novela: love triangles, family drama, ultimate betrayal, and shocking twists. We are proud to be at the forefront of the Turkish novela craze in the U.S. with this exclusive premiere and are confident this will be one of this fall's must-see novelas."
WAPA America, which airs more than 30 hours a week of live, original news from the station's award-winning newscast, is planning extensive political coverage leading up to this year's historic presidential elections, which will have an enormous impact on Puerto Rico as the commonwealth undergoes a profound constitutional and fiscal crisis. Viewers will be able to enjoy first-hand coverage from the WAPA news team, which will be reporting live updates on the election cycle from key U.S. Hispanic cities like New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Orlando.
"The candidate who prevails in this election cycle will have a tremendous impact on the future of Puerto Rico," said Ramos. "As the second-largest Hispanic group in the United States, U.S.-based Puerto Ricans will be more interested than ever in this year's presidential election, and WAPA America is the only station bringing them news tailor-made for them."
For the first time, WAPA America is launching an on-air branding campaign, "Mi Isla, Mi Orgullo" (My Island, My Pride), that celebrates Puerto Rican heritage, culture, and people. The campaign will consist of :60 sponsorable vignettes highlighting the contributions of notable Puerto Ricans on both the Island and U.S. mainland, including chefs, artists, actors, comedians, sports figures, and more. The campaign will also invite users to submit their own short-form content online demonstrating their pride, and the vignettes will live on social media and WAPA.tv—the number one online resource Puerto Ricans turn to for news and entertainment.
"Puerto Rican pride is a powerful thing, and the 'Mi Isla, Mi Orgullo' campaign is a great way for our clients to connect themselves to our viewers in a meaningful way," said Ballas-Traynor. "Our brands offer access to audiences not served by any other U.S. Hispanic network. We look forward to working with our clients on unique and cost-effective integration and sponsorship opportunities that resonate with the millions of loyal Hispanic viewers who rely on our networks as their primary lifeline to their home countries."
About Hemisphere Media Group, Inc.: Hemisphere Media Group (NASDAQ: HMTV) is the only publicly-traded pure-play U.S. media company targeting the high growth Spanish-language television and cable networks business in the U.S. and Latin America. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, Hemisphere owns and operates five leading U.S. Hispanic cable networks, two Latin American cable networks, and the leading broadcast television network in Puerto Rico. Hemisphere's networks consist of: Cinelatino, the leading Spanish-language movie channel with over 16 million subscribers across the U.S., Latin America and Canada, including 4.5 million subscribers in the U.S. and 12.3 million subscribers in Latin America, featuring the largest selection of contemporary Spanish-language blockbusters and critically-acclaimed titles from Mexico, Latin America, Spain and the Caribbean; WAPA, Puerto Rico's highest-rated broadcast television network that produces more than 75 hours per week of top-rated news and entertainment programming; WAPA America, the leading cable network targeting Puerto Ricans and other Caribbean Hispanics living in the U.S., featuring the highly-rated news and entertainment programming produced by WAPA, with a U.S. distribution of 5.2 million subscribers; Pasiones, dedicated to showcasing the most popular telenovelas and drama series, with 4.4 million subscribers in the U.S. and 10.6 million subscribers in Latin America; Centroamerica TV, the leading network targeting Central Americans living in the U.S., featuring the most popular news, entertainment and soccer programming from Central America, distributed to 4.0 million U.S. subscribers, and Television Dominicana, the leading network targeting Dominicans living in the U.S., featuring the most popular news, entertainment and baseball programming from the Dominican Republic, with 3.0 million U.S. subscribers.
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SOURCE WAPA America; Cinelatino