Univision Launches Voter Turnout Effort

Univision Launches Voter Turnout Effort

Spanish-language media company Univision is pulling out all the stops to promote Hispanic and Latino voter turn-out.

Univision has launched a “Vote for Your America” campaign to mobilize 27 million Hispanic and Latinos eligible to vote in the general election.

The campaign will include a digital election guide, which the company describes as a “nonpartisan election resource for multicultural and millennial voters,” developed with a number of Hispanic-targeted networks including Fusion and El Rey, available at YourAmerica.com.

The campaign will also include get-out-the-vote PSAs, bilingual text messaging, and hundreds of events including voter registration drives town halls social media outreach and viewer call centers with election information.

Also part of the effort are the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Democracy Works/TurboVote, Voto Latino, Get Schooled, The Latino Coalition, Hispanic Federation, Mi Familia Vota and Rock the Vote.

“This year, with our Univision Contigo Vote For Your America campaign, we will deliver on our mission like never before by providing unique, nonpartisan and culturally-relevant resources…. Moreover, we are taking our mission a step further by uniting our strategic partners and multi-platform model to engage eligible multicultural and millennial voters,” said Univision President Randy Falco.

IFC Taps Dana Gould, Hank Azaria for Scripted Series

IFC Taps Dana Gould, Hank Azaria for Scripted Series

IFC will add to its scripted series lineup with projects from Dana Gould and Hank Azaria, the network said Monday.

Gould (The Simpsons, Parks and Recreation) will executive produce and write Stan Against Evil, a comedy horror series featuring the teaming of a perpetually disgruntled former sheriff and the tough and beautiful new sheriff who fight against a plague of unleashed demons that have been haunting the town, according to network officials.

Azaria will star in Brockmire, as a famed major league baseball announcer who suffers a very public meltdown live on the air but looks to regain his career by calling minor league baseball games in a small town.

“Demons and disgrace are at the forefront of IFC’s new comedy strategy,” said Caserta in making the announcement. “And there’s no one we’d rather be in bed with – or save small towns with – than Hank and Dana. One of the hallmarks of IFC’s success is the exceptional caliber of creative genius that we get to partner with, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be making these shows.”

‘Gravity Falls’ Finale Sets Disney XD Record

‘Gravity Falls’ Finale Sets Disney XD RecordThe “Gravity Falls” finale set a Disney XD ratings record.

The series finale of Disney XD’s animated series Gravity Falls set a ratings record for the network on a Nielsen Live+3 basis, the network said Monday.

The Feb. 15 episode drew a record 2.9 million total viewers, 1.5 million kids 6-14 and 909,000 Boys 6-14, according to Disney. Overall, Gravity Falls accounts for Disney XD’s top 9 regular animated-series telecasts of all time among the network’s targeted kids 6-11 demo and represents the top 7 telecasts among boys 6-11.

Further, the all-day Gravity Falls takeover event and series finale reached 10.7 million unique total viewers, including 5.4 million kids 2-14 and 3.1 million Boys 2-14, said network officials.

Diversity Study: TV’s Bad, Film’s Worse

Diversity Study: TV's Bad, Film's WorseThe latest Annenberg diversity and inclusion study comes as the Academy Awards is being blasted for its lack of minorities among nominated films, spawning the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.

Only 28% of speaking characters across 414 films and TV episodes in 2014-2015 were from “underrepresented” racial and ethnic groups, which is close to 10% below the U.S. population norm, according to a new study.

The report, from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, examined 109 films and 305 TV series and found that neither has much to brag about in terms of putting minorities and women on either side of the camera.

“This is no mere diversity problem,” said Stacy L. Smith, survey author. “. This is an inclusion crisis. Over half of the content we examined features no Asian or Asian-American characters, and over 20% featured no African-American characters. It is clear that the ecosystem of entertainment is exclusionary.”

The study comes as the Academy Awards is being blasted for its lack of minorities among nominated films, spawning the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. The Oscars telecast airs on ABC Feb. 28.

Walt Disney Co. and The CW, along with SVOD players Hulu and Amazon, got decent marks for inclusion.

Read more at broadcastingcable.com.

Vubiquity Opens Digital Storefront for Latin America

Vubiquity Opens Digital Storefront for Latin America

Vubiquity said it is setting its sights on the OTT market in Latin America with the debut of a managed digital storefront product for the region.

Vubiquity said the product, to debut at next week’s Andina Link show in Colombia, expands on the company’s current work with telecom operators in the region with a suite of content services, including content acquisition licensing, scheduling, programming and processing and marketing support. Vubiquity has already launched digital storefronts with partners in other regions, including North America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

It added that the new digital storefront for the region provides a “white-label” portal for partners and content distributors that also links access to Vubiquity’s film and TV catalog alongside studio-approved DRM, and support for various business models, including subscription VOD, free, ad-supported VOD, electronic sell through and live TV.

Vubiquity said the storefront for Latin America supports Web browsers, iOS and Android mobile devices, and set-top boxes.

“The telecoms market in Latin America is especially competitive and complex, and our storefront provides service providers with the edge they need over other OTT providers,” Hector Rodriguez, Vubiquity’s VP for the Latin America region, said in a statement.

Scripps to Buy Cox Travel Channel Stake

Scripps to Buy Cox Travel Channel StakeJosh Gates in ‘Expedition Unknown’

Scripps Networks Interactive has notified Cox Communications of its intention to purchase the cable operator’s 35% interest in the Travel Channel it doesn’t already own.

On a conference call with analysts to discuss quarterly results, Scripps Networks chief financial officer Lori Hickok said the programmer has notified the cable operator of its intentions and the valuation process has begun. She added Scripps hoped the transaction would be completed by the end of the first quarter.

Scripps purchased a 65% interest in Travel Channel from Cox in 2009 for about $1 billion. According to the deal, Cox had the right to put its interest back to SNI on the fifth anniversary of the transaction and Scripps had the right to call Cox’s interest a year later.

On the call, Hickok said the valuation process is fairly typical of these deals – Scripps will determine what it thinks the stake is worth and Cox will make its own determination. If the two prices are within a certain range a deal will be struck; if not, a third party will be brought in to make its own valuation.

Finding a common ground may not be easy. While 65% of Travel Channel was priced at $1 billion in 2009, the value likely has changed. And though Scripps does break out revenue performance for its networks, some analysts have said it is difficult to determine how much of total programming and SG&A expense is allocated to the network to get an accurate cash flow number. According to SNI’s 2015 results, Travel Channel reported revenue of $309.2 million for 2015, down about 1.6%.

Scripps has made some recent changes to the Travel Channel — in December it named Courtney White as senior vice president of programming, it is continuing to add original porgramming and also moved Travel Channel HQ from Chevy Chase, Md., to Knoxville, Tenn., SNI’s home base. Scripps also has other partnerships for networks — Tribune Media owns 33% of Food Network — and the company has expressed a desire to consolidate its interest in that channel over the years. However, no deal for Food appears to be in the works.

Dauman: Viacom Exploring Sale of Paramount Stake

Dauman: Viacom Exploring Sale of Paramount Stake

Viacom executive chairman and CEO Philippe Dauman said Tuesday the programmer has started the process to explore opportunities for “a significant strategic minority equity investment” in movie studio Paramount Pictures. Dauman made the announcement at the Jefferies Media & Communications Conference in New York City.

“We have received indications of interest from potential partners seeking a strategic investment in Paramount Pictures and I have decided to pursue discussions with a select group of potential investors,” Dauman said, according to a company statement. “In this time of change and enormous opportunity in our industry, a partnership will bring significant benefit to Paramount and Viacom, both strategically and financially, provide new opportunities for Paramount’s employees and talent, and enhance long-term value for all Viacom shareholders.”

“Paramount Pictures has been a leading motion picture studio for more than a century and is among a select few that has significant reach and scale, a deep library, a robust pipeline with proven global franchises, and a high potential television production operation,” Dauman added. “In addition, the value of motion picture content continues to increase with the explosion of screens and the rapid expansion of the global theatrical market. This is the perfect time to explore new strategies to capitalize on Paramount’s content expertise and global platform, maximize opportunities for its continued growth, and unlock the value of the business for the benefit of shareholders.”

Viacom has retained PJT Partners as its financial advisor to assist with the process.