NEW YORK, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Univision Online, Inc., the interactive division of Univision Communications Inc., the premier Spanish-language media company in the United States, and Endemol, a global leader in premium content development, are partnering along with Amistad Productions to produce the interactive, star-studded webnovela “Vidas Cruzadas” (Crossed Lives). Featuring the eagerly anticipated on screen reunion of megawatt superstars Kate del Castillo and Guy Ecker, the webnovela was created by Estela Sainz and will be produced by renowned executive producer Carlos Sotomayor. “Vidas Cruzadas” will premier exclusively on Univision.com in 2009.
“We are thrilled to partner with first-class content producer Endemol and superstars Kate del Castillo and Guy Ecker to bring Univision.com users a
one-of-a-kind interactive webnovela experience,” said Cesar Conde, EVP and chief strategy officer, Univision Communications Inc. “This project is yet another example of Univision’s commitment to providing our online users with original, premium content that creates innovative ways for our advertising partners to connect with this audience.”
“Vidas Cruzadas” will be developed with extensive product placement and organic integration options, giving advertisers the opportunity to associate their brands with some of the most popular talent in Spanish-language media today. The webnovela, as well as its mobile extension, will provide marketers with opportunities to interact with Del Castillo’s and Ecker’s huge fan base.
“At Endemol, we are committed to bringing quality entertainment to viewers in unique and groundbreaking ways not experienced before,” said Joerg Bachmaier, senior vice president of Digital Media and Business Development at Endemol USA. “It is with great enthusiasm and support that we have partnered with such a respected name as Univision and together we look forward to bringing online audiences closer than ever to their favorite programming.”
“Working with Carlos, Guy and Estela has been great. I think we share a common vision of what we would like to see produced for the Spanish-language audiences,” says Del Castillo.
This 15-episode webnovela will consist of three to five minute episodes and will be available to Univision.com users for free. “Vidas Cruzadas” will be supported with a dedicated microsite featuring behind-the-scenes videos and photos and interactive features such as blogs, live chats and forums. Other interactive features include a sweepstakes where users will be able to act out a scene and upload their video for a chance to win a cameo appearance in the webnovela. The microsite will also include trivia, polls, local tie-ins and exclusive cast interviews.
Since debuting in her father’s film “El Ultimo Escape” (The Last Escape) as a child, Kate del Castillo has had an incredibly successful career. This year, she starred in the internationally acclaimed film “La Misma Luna” (Under the Same Moon). Del Castillo’s feature film “Julia,” in which she plays a lead role opposite Tilda Swinton as a schizophrenic, and that was directed by Erick Zonca, was premiered at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival. Her television achievements have positioned her as one of the top actresses, not only in her native Mexico but also around the world. She has starred in many high-rated novelas, among them the Univision hit “Muchachitas” (Teen Girls). Del Castillo was named one of the Estrellas del Ano (Stars of the Year) in 2007 by People en Espanol magazine. Also in 2008, Del Castillo received the Imagen Award for Best Actress in “La Misma Luna.”
A critically acclaimed actor, Guy Ecker began his career in the late 1980’s when he was cast in three independent films. He has gone on to deliver heartwarming performances in many popular novelas, including “Salome,” which have earned him a tremendous following. Today, Ecker’s appearance at events in places like Mexico, Ecuador, Spain, Miami and New York cause the type of commotion and hysteria usually only associated with rock stars.
In 1999, Del Castillo and Ecker starred in the blockbuster novela “La Mentira” (The Lie), which was also produced by Sotomayor, one of the world’s most poplar novela producers.
Amistad Productions is a company formed two years ago by Sotomayor, Del Castillo, Ecker and Sainz, dedicated to creating, developing and producing original content for digital platforms, as well as television and film.
Endemol is a global leader in entertainment programming, producing premium entertainment for the world’s major broadcasters and creating content that plays across a range of media platforms including television, mobile phones and the Internet. Internet content includes scripted (drama, comedy and soap operas), non-scripted (reality TV entertainment, game shows and talent shows) and digital media (online games, tailor made shows for mobile, video clips, video streaming and more).
Univision.com is the #1 most visited Spanish-language website among U.S. Hispanics(1) for the 7th year in a row(2). The site attracts more than 15 million unique browsers, 34 million visits(3) and generates nearly 11 million video streams(4). Currently, Univision.com delivers 10 channels on topics ranging from autos and entertainment, to finance and sports. The website also includes a video portal providing instant access to thousands of free videos from one central location, extending Univision’s most popular TV programming to broadband users across the Internet.
(1) According to a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting, on behalf of Univision, 2008. Results are based on a national telephone survey among non-Hispanic and Hispanic internet users
(2) Forrester Research Custom Study, 2008, fielded in 2007; Simmons Custom Study, 2006; Nielsen Custom Studies. 2001-2005
(3) Univision.com Worldwide Traffic Analytics, MRC Accredited, Q1-Q3 2008
(4) Univision.com Worldwide Traffic Analytics, Q1-Q3 2008
About Univision Online, Inc.
Univision Online, Inc. is the interactive division of Univision Communications Inc., the premier Spanish-language media company in the United States. Univision Communications Inc. owns and operates Univision Online, Inc., the premier Spanish-language Internet destination in the U.S., located at www.univision.com, and Univision Movil, delivering the industry’s most comprehensive Spanish-language suite of mobile offerings, including in-show wireless integrations, mobile video, SMS and Premium SMS programs, mobile portals, mobile advertising and an extensive downloadable content catalog. Univision Communications Inc.’s operations include Univision Network, the most-watched Spanish-language broadcast television network in the U.S. reaching 97% of U.S. Hispanic Households; TeleFutura Network, a
general-interest Spanish-language broadcast television network, which was launched in 2002 and now reaches 85% of U.S. Hispanic Households; Galavision, the country’s leading Spanish-language cable network; Univision Television Group, which owns and operates 64 television stations in major U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico; and Univision Radio, the leading Spanish-language radio group which owns and/or operates 70 radio stations in 16 of the top 25 U.S. Hispanic markets and 5 stations in Puerto Rico. Univision Communications also has a 50% interest in TuTv, a joint venture formed to broadcast Televisa’s pay television channels in the U.S. Univision Communications has television network operations in Miami and television and radio stations and sales offices in major cities throughout the United States. For more information, please visit www.univision.net