Telemundo Looks For Its Own Voice

Broadcaster touts 'La Voz: Ninos' at upfront bash

Telemundo pulled out all the stops on Tuesday evening after a day of Hispanic media pitches from larger rival Univision and cable company Discovery U.S. Hispanic. The presentation took place at the Al Hirschfeld Theater on 45th street, which seemed appropriate given some of the Spanish-only quirks of the show. For one thing, the presentation included brief performances of dramatic prologues for the novelas; for another, the fan base in the theater was notably more enthusiastic than at the English-langauge upfronts.

Mexican singer Jose Jose got the loudest and longest cheers, but the network's biggest news was that it would be sending to series a new spinoff of NBC hit The Voice, called La Voz: Ninos. The series will be a kid-centric version of the celebrity-starring competition series, with Spanish-language performers teaching aspiring Latin music stars how to sing.

After network president Emilio Romano finished touting the new programming (including a serious pitch for the World Cup, which Telemundo wrested away from Univision for the first time in history), ad sales head Dan Lovinger told buyers that audiences are glad to be able to have more than one option: "[our] momentum is due to one factor: choice." The subtext, of course, was that buyers have a choice, too.

After the pitch, buyers adjourned via branded pedicab to the Edison Hotel, which hosted a large crowd of diners almost entirely unfamiliar from the set visiting the other broadcast networks this week. Perhaps it's understandable; the ABC presentation today would have been more or less back-to-back with Telemundo, had buyers tried to attend both.