LatinoBuzz: Programming for the Latin Americans in No. America

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by Sydney Levine
March 13, 2013 5:30 PM
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In Guadalajara at FICG (Festival Internacional de Cine Guadalajara) I was looking for Latin American buyers for a film I am representing and I met up with an acquaintance, Arturo Chavez, whom I knew from his days at Lionsgate where he was responsible for Lionsgate's Latino Division’s product development, product management and release schedule planning.  He played an instrumental role in Lionsgate’s assessment, qualification, and acquisition of all product lines and a significant role in the development of the company’s overall Latino category. Lionsgate's Latino Division currently has  a partnership in PantelionFilms a venture between Panamax Films owned by James McNamara, Televisa and Lionsgate.  James McNamara is also operating Cine Latino, one of several other companies which offer Latino programming to North American audiences.  The other is MVS (Multivision).  Multivision is actually part owner of Cine Latino.  Alejandro Vasquez Vela and Ricardo de Leon are the programming and acquisitions directors of MVS.
Arturo Chavez

Arturo himself is now at Olympusat, an affiliate of Ocean Communications, Inc. which supplies programming to North America in a variety of ways that includes U.S. Hispanic rights for Pay TV. Arturo explained that they usually include EST (Electronic Sell-Through) rights and, (IPTV), Video on Demand (VOD) and Pay Per View (PPV) Olympusat is the country’s market leader in the development and distribution of independent Hispanic, Specialty, and Faith & Family television networks.  Olympusat, Inc. owns, operates, manages and distributes independent linear and nonlinear programming networks to the Cable, Satellite, and Telco industries, in addition to multi-platform offerings including mobile, IPTV and broadband networks. The company represents 25 television networks serving the Hispanic, Specialty and Faith & Family markets such as FUNimation Channel, Untamed Sports and Parables. Olympusat is the leading independent distributor of Hispanic networks in the United States free of major media conglomerates. 

Arturo is Senior Vice President, Hispanic Networks.  As SVP of Olympusat’s owned and operated channels, his key responsibilities include day-to-day management of the company’s 14 different Hispanic owned and operated networks, which include: Cine Mexicano, ¡Sorpresa!, Gran Cine, Ultra Mex, Ultra Cine, Ultra Clasico, Ultra Movies, Ultra Docu, Ultra Kidz, Ultra Tainment, Ultra Luna, Ultra Macho, Ultra Fiesta, Cine Clasico. He is responsible for overseeing all and acquiring content for all the networks.  With over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry, he is widely recognized and considered one of the most knowledgeable experts of Spanish-language films in the U.S. market.  He is a graduate from University of Aguascalientes in Mexico, and holds a B.A. in Business Development and Administration.

Olympusat, Inc.

Olympusat's Spanish language package can offer a third and fourth Pay TV (PTV) windows to films which are mostly in Spanish which might have its first PTV window with the widely-known and prestigious HBO Latino.  HBO, btw, also has a new service called HBO GO which is similar to Netflix which deliver VoD, that is, Video on Demand one of the EST windows.

Olympusat includes the company’s owned and operated Hispanic networks: Cine Mexicano™, Gran Cine, LaTele Novela, ¡Sorpresa! and CubaPlay in addition to Specialty Networks FUNimation Channel, Parables and Untamed Sports.  Olympusat sells its PTV programming to Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon Fios, Charter Communication, Cox, Mediacom, Claro, Cable One, Sudden Link, Liberty Wire and Cable, AT&T U-verse.

Cine Mexicano is the first and only Spanish-language movie channel that offers original productions and contemporary Mexican films for Hispanics living in the U.S. The network emphasizes a diverse mix of contemporary movie genres including drama, romance, comedy, action and thrillers, and also features Olympusat-produced original productions. All movies are Spanish language originals, never dubbed, and feature many of the most-recognized film and telenovela stars from Mexico. Cine Mexicano also features world premieres of recently released films produced exclusively for the network.

In 2012 Cine Mexicano™ ranked Number One on AT&T U-verse according to Rentrak.  Cine Mexicano is the country’s top-rated and most popular Spanish-language movie channel featuring commercial-free, contemporary Mexican movies that include romance, dramas, comedy, rancheras, action, and thrillers. Rentrak Corporation (NASDAQ: RENT) is the leader in multi-screen media measurement serving the advertising and entertainment industries. [Source: (i) Rentrak TV Essentials 12/19/11-1/1/12 Weekly Household Rating Rank Total Day for Cine Mexicano within Hispanic Tier of 32 Cable Nets. ATT U-verse only. Qualifications available upon request.]  

This ranking underscores the fact that there is a strong market for highly targeted programming for the U.S. Hispanic market. “By staying true to our core demographic and understanding its affection for Mexican-themed entertainment, Cine Mexicano has become very popular among Hispanics subscribing to multi-channel video services,” commented Albert J. Estrada, SVP, Marketing & Business Development. 

Olympusat, Inc. also owns two strategic business units:  Olympusat Digital Production, which provides Production and Post-Production services such as Optical Scanning, Complete Video Restoration and Color Correction services that revive classic movies for the 21st century high-definition video platforms of today and Olympusat Telecom, which offers complete communications solutions for both the enterprise and consumer markets worldwide. 

The Founder, President & CEO of Olympusat, Inc. is Tom Mohler.  He is also CEO of Ocean Holdings, which includes the company’s owned and operated companies: Ocean Communications, Olympusat, Inc., Olympusat Telecom, Ocean Distribution, Ocean New Media and Hatch Entertainment. Under Ocean Communications, Tom built the company into the largest independent distributor of cable networks with programming contracts and inventory totaling more than 60 million homes to date. Combining his understanding of the needs of independent networks, Tom began Olympusat, Inc., which owns and operates multiple TV cable networks and is the first company of its kind in the media industry offering such independent cable networks vertical integration by providing transport, distribution and advertising services through a single, independent company.

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