Azteca imports TV produced in Mexico

Three novelas, five reality shows and two sitcoms destined for the U.S.

Azteca America will introduce three novelas, five reality shows and two sitcoms, all produced in Mexico, to its U.S. network lineup for the 2008-09 season.

At its upfront presentation Tuesday, the network said all of its shows, including the novelas, will have product-integration opportunities for advertisers that can be built into the original scripts.

Said Azteca: "By utilizing TV Azteca's state-of-the-art studios in Mexico, we will be able to give U.S. Hispanic viewers and advertisers what they want: original stories, stellar casts, beautiful sets, top-notch production value and, most importantly, the ability to integrate products and brands into the content of our TV shows from the very early stages when the scripts of telenovelas and rundowns of entertainment shows are being designed."

The Azteca news operation also is getting a makeover. News out of Mexico will be shot at Fuerza Informativa Azteca in Mexico City, giving viewers faster access to information and breaking news. Azteca has 32 news bureaus and 108 reporters.

Azteca also will bring back Mexican soccer, La Liga Azteca, Futbol Mexicano, with Jorge Campos as the network's new announcer.

"This year we will fully integrate with TV Azteca to deliver programming with our core sensibility, Hecho en Mexico (Made in Mexico), but tailor-made for our audience and clients in the U.S.," said Harry Abraham-Castillo, exec vp programming and production at Azteca America.