Telemundo Boosts World Cup Rights, New President in Upfront Presentation

New series include Los Miserables

NBCUniversal's Telemundo is taking a victory lap for its World Cup acquisition back in 2011 during the upfront this season. Sitting in the driver's seat during that lap is newly announced network president Luis Silberwasser.

The company paid some $600 million for the rights to broadcast the most-popular global sports event in Spanish; now it's shooting the works on promotion as the next contest approaches (this year's FIFA World Cup will air on Univision, but it's soon enough that the network is changing emphasis to its newly purchased U.S. soccer rights).

The network has been trying to produce programming from its in-house studio that will compete with Univision's product from Mexican mega-producer Grupo Televisa; among its new offerings are Los Miserables (no, that's not a typo), a series based on the Victor Hugo novel of a similar title and starring Aracely Arambula, late of the network's La Patrona.

And, with the success of The Voice spinoff La Voz Ninos on the channel, the network is announcing another series called Yo Soy El Artista—a competition series that will show off grownup performers where La Voz Ninos features kids.

And while Univision is busy making inroads in the U.S. with its soccer leagues, Telemundo is reaching further south. The network will exclusively broadcast Mexican first-division soccer team Pachuca's games on all its platforms. And where Univision is creating its own pop culture digital network, Telemundo is partnering with an existing digital brand in Mashable.

The post of president has been vacant for a long time, and Silberwasser was made welcome at the event—the ex-Discovery exec will be at the forefront of NBCU's Hispanic initiatives under chairman, Hispanic enterprises and content Joe Uva, which is an outsized job given the amount of money NBCU has recently spent on programming and rights.