Mexican broadcaster Televisa is sure making headlines in the English press. In fact, within two months, U.K. daily Financial Times (FT) featured two articles focusing on the company — one with a business focus and the other more artsy.
The second piece, entitled “North of the Border,” focused on Mexican-owned businesses extending their reaches into the U.S. market. The article mentioned how Televisa “significantly deepened its exposure to the U.S. market in 2010, investing $1.2 billion in Univision, the U.S.’s largest Spanish-language network.”
While Televisa has long been supplying Univision with highly rated primetime series, the 2010 investment in Univision and a new commercial agreement have “opened a new chapter for Televisa’s engagement with the U.S. market,” according to FT.
The reason companies like Televisa can afford to invest in America? “Economists and analysts say one factor is Mexico’s robust economy, which has given companies a solid and reliable backdrop against which to build their domestic business,” FT reported.
That same article featured a sidebar focusing specifically on Televisa’s plans to produce and distribute new content for the English-language market.
As FT reported: “Televisa USA, as the company’s new Los Angeles-based studio is called, launched with multiple broadcast network deals, including a joint venture with Lionsgate, the global entertainment company, to develop new content for television audiences all over the U.S.”
Executives told the paper that the launch of Televisa USA was independent from the company’s investment in and collaboration with Univision.
Recently, Televisa U.S. has completed production of Devious Maids, a broadcast network pilot co-produced with ABC Studios and Oasis Media Group, that will air on Lifetime. It is also producing five-nights-a-week series Hollywood Heights — an English adaptation of Alcanzar Una Estrella — for Nickelodeon (it’s co-produced by MTV networks and Sony Television), according to the paper.
Two months before this business-focused analysis of Televisa was printed, a story on Televisa ran in FT’s Life & Arts section. This one focused on Factory of Dreams: Inside Televisa Studios, a book of photographs from Stefan Ruiz that shows portrait-like photos of some of Televisa’s most famous telenovela actors. In the paper, Ruiz described the Televisa studio in San Angel, Mexico City as “the dream factory of the Spanish-speaking world.
“It produces more telenovelas than any other global media company and exports them to more than 50 countries…,” he wrote.
Ruiz pointed out just how popular Televisa’s novelas are outside of Latin America by sharing an anecdote about Rogelio Guerra, lead actor in Los Ricos También Lloran (The Rich Also Cry), who was asked to give the New Year’s Eve address to the Russian people when Boris Yeltsin fell ill.
Ruiz also pointedout that international stars like Salma Hayek, Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna all started out at Televisa.