Telefónica and original series on Movistar Play for Latin America
Telefónica has launched its Movistar Play channel in the region, in an effort to position itself as the main distributor of the service in Spanish. The operator wants to launch its channel in 14 countries during the next months, and this weekend presented its first original series projects. The announcement was made during the premiere of "Vida Perfecta", directed by Leticia Dolera, at the Cannes Series Festival.
Paula Figueroa will be the director of video and content at Telefónica Latinoamérica, according to the specialized media Variety. For their part, they named the Peruvian writer and producer, Joanna Lombardi, director of the fiction area.
The first series for Telefónica will be "Rudio Capital", produced by Fidelio Films under the production of Mauricio Leiva Cock, a Colombian writer who has participated in original Netflix series such as "Frontera Verde", "Tijuana" and "Wild District"; in addition to "Falco", compared by Amazon.
The series will tell the story of Simón Cuervo and Valentina León with Los Rotos, a group of misfit youths, lovers of music and rebellion, who will explore the mysteries of adolescence during the 1960s in Bogotá. It will be shot in June, and it is expected to be broadcast through Movistar Play by October of this year.
According to Variety, the second series of Telefónica-Movistar will be a comedy that will be in charge of Peruvians Daniel and Diego Vega. It will also start shooting in June.
The story will be based on the Puerto Rican singer Héctor Lavoe and his fanatic and imitator Tonyo, who meet during a trip that the musician makes to Peru in 1986 as part of a tour.
As reported, the Spanish telecommunications company plans to produce five series throughout this year and next. Focusing on content for Peru, Colombia, Chile, Argentina and Mexico, markets that are "emblematic of the culture in the region and where we have a critical mass of landlines and mobile customers," said Figueroa.
"The series will be a good balance of more local titles fully financed by Telefónica and produced with independent production companies, or co-productions with studios, large companies or OTT players that are considered more for the target market," said Paula Figueroa.
Lombardi added that "the people of Latin America need series that speak in their own language, series of substance focused on nearby realities, not just premium series that come from abroad."
Telefónica's measure is the result of the high number of clients in the region; in 2018 alone they registered 193 million Movistar TV users, fixed and mobile broadband in Latin America.
In 2018, the Movistar Play service recorded a 6% year-on-year growth in pay television customers, reaching some 4.1 million accounts.
Movistar launches its streaming platform in Mexico
As of this month, the Movistar Play streaming platform, developed by the telecommunications company and which has an agreement with Netflix, is available in Mexico.
On the platform, you can find exclusive series developed by Movistar and also the opportunity to broadcast live television channels, as well as movie rental service. The company explained that the agreement with Netflix is that users of the platform will be able to access its content and pay for the service directly through Movistar Play.
As far as exclusive content is concerned, he highlighted productions such as La Peste, Virtual Hero and his most recent premiere, El Embarcadero, produced by the creators of the La Casa de Papel series.
"These are some of the titles that appear within the content offer to win over the Mexican audience."
The strategic partners also include Disney-Fox, Viacom and TV Azteca.
The company explained that the platform can have up to two simultaneous reproductions of its users and can be accessed as a customer of the company in any form.
Telefónica in Mexico, one of the countries that have generated the most complications for the operator in its expansion in Latin America, and in which it competes with América Móvil and AT&T.
The telco wanted to break the status quo of the sector in Mexico by launching Movistar Play, its OTT platform for audiovisual content and streaming, which will be marketed along with its mobile telephony rates. With this move, the company seeks to improve the value offer for its more than 27.3 million customers in the country, of which 26.3 million are mobile telephony.
The television offer includes access to Netflix, along with series, movies, and channels from companies such as Fox, Walt Disney, ESPN, Discovery, and Viacom. Likewise, it offers contents from Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures and NBC Universal. In the same line, the telco offers the contents of TV Azteca, one of the main Mexican groups in the sector, the rival of Televisa. In addition, Telefónica will include Movistar Series, the service offered by the original series produced by the operator itself, including La Peste, Arde Madrid, Virtual Hero, and El Embarcadero.
The commercialization of Movistar Play in Mexico is done through three packages, Lite, International, and Premium, with different prices and contents.
During the past year, Telefónica maintained several negotiations with groups such as Cerberus for the possible sale of the Mexican subsidiary, but finally, there was no agreement.
In the presentation of the results of 2018, last February, José María Álvarez-Pallete, president of Telefónica, stated that the operator was not happy with its business in Mexico, insisting that the telecom had the obligation to improve said asset, both from the organic as well as the inorganic point of view. In this sense, the manager said that the company had different alternatives, beyond the possible sale, as possible agreements to share networks with other companies.
Along with Mexico, Telefónica has launched the Movistar Play television offer in Argentina this week. In the case of the southern country, Netflix is not yet implemented. In this way, Telefónica seeks to strengthen its offer against rivals such as Cablevisión.
The intention of the operator is to turn its OTT television tool into one of its growth paths in Latin America. Currently, Movistar Play is already available in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, and Mexico. The telecom already has about one million customers in this business. Netflix, in turn, is available in the firm's offers in Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, and Chile, among others.