Telefonica Launches Movistar Series Channel in Latin America

Telefonica Still 1 -Publicity-H 2018
Courtesy of Movistar

The new network is part of the global strategy unveiled Thursday by Sergio Osle and Michael Duncan.

Telefonica will launch its newly minted Movistar Series pay channel in 12 Latin American countries as part of the global strategy unveiled Thursday by Movistar Plus president Sergio Osle and Telefonica global consumer unit CEO Michael Duncan.

Movistar is betting on original productions to make the platform stand out from other competition in the region. The new channel will bring Telefonica’s original fiction series to more than 13 countries, accessing 6.8 million pay-TV customers in Spain and Latin America, in 2018.

“We want to create benchmark television where the client has the freedom to choose. We’re going to continue working on the television model that the user wants,” Osle said at the news conference. “We have the highways and the contents, and the challenge is to continue to adapt to the market, and for our clients to have the best contents together with a customized, multi-platform and on-demand experience.”

The new channel, which is already available in Spain, will launch in Chile, Colombia, and Peru on Feb. 15, and will be added to the Movistar offering in Argentina, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Uruguay in the next few months.

The new Movistar Series channel will premiere 12 original series throughout 2018. In addition to the Movistar+ original series, the channel will also broadcast Spanish-language programming produced by third parties and successful Latin American series as well as movies and documentaries. Each week, Movistar Series will premiere episodes of nine series and five movies.

“We will become a platform of platforms in Latin America, offering the best contents in the market, but that will also have differential attributes that make our value proposal unique and distinguished by its quality,” Duncan said. “We believe that there is enormous potential for a platform of quality contents made in Spanish, and we want Movistar Series to become the benchmark channel for these contents.”

Movistar’s original series are very popular. High-end crime-thriller The Plague outperformed Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and The Big Bang Theory on the Movistar platform.

Movistar has invested $86 million in original production, $14.7 million of which was earmarked for The Plague.

“We believe that if our creators receive the necessary resources, they will give their best and contribute towards a great television production,” explained director of fiction, Domingo Corral, who said Movistar prides itself on plucking top Spanish talent for its original series.

The Plague, created by Alberto Rodriguez and Rafael Cobos, will be the first Movistar+ original series that Movistar Series will air. Another 11 original productions will follow, including: Cesc Gay's Felix starring Argentine actor Leonardo Sbaraglia; Killing the Father, by filmmaker Mar Coll; Giants, directed by Enrique Urbizu; Madrid Is Burning, created by Paco Leon and Anna R. Costa; and the anime Virtual Hero, based on the comic book by Rubius, among others.