The major challenge for the creators of the first 24 hour 7 days a week telenovela channel in the United States was to sell the concept. So explains Alexander Fiore, President and CEO of Latele Novela Network (LNN) channel
The business has its genesis in the beginning of 2004 after several meetings among its creators: Mercedes Pedre-Fiore, Alexander Fiore, Tom Mohler de Olympusat and Alexander Kochen, all of them veteran professionals in the industry. The first initial strategy was to market the concept of the first telenovela channel in the United States to major cable operators and satellite signal providers, whom were not aware of the need in the market of a niche channel of this gender for Hispanics in the United States and Puerto Rico.
This was followed, despite unfair competition, to position canned novels that were not attractive to large Latin stations, bringing value and demand as alternative products to the Hispanic public. “While great ideas tend to be imitated, we were thinking that all would be under an outline of clean and friendly competition, but it has not been so”
Fiore confessed and emphasized that “at first telenovelas that were not launched by the big Latin stations of major national coverage were shelved on file, but we opened a box of surprises and now canned novels have gained in value and demand by those seeking to engage the Hispanic market in this country”.
It is clear that the idea was brilliant and took shape in the minds of many programmers who have found in the channel a living source of entertainment for their audiences. Now the channel is distributed by cable in most of the United States, in high Hispanic concentration areas and by satellite in Puerto Rico and in Australia, while next to reach New Zealand.
Having 85% of the cable operators as territorial partners in the U.S. and in satellite DIRECTV and CLARO TV in Puerto Rico, Alexander Fiore anticipates that given the success of the channel the main challenge is to launch via cable and satellite in Latin America and Spain. In Spain there is an agreement with Premium Cine Spain, to carry the channel next summer “This territory, plays a strategic role for the development of our channel in Europe, not only because the Latino community with nearly 2 million people, but also because the Spanish population has shown for years their growing taste for this gender.
The success of Latele Novela Network is based on the programming strategy to avoid repetition and create impact. “After great international success: El Clon, El Rey del Ganado, Terra Nostra among others, the main challenge is that the audiences value the offer, and therefore, the company has successfully the leading position against competition, according to the ratings.
Fiore and his partners envision a positive future. “We are optimist about the 50 million Hispanics because we have launched a concept that has gained strength and now the viewer benefits as well as generate more business for producers, since there are currently and will continue to emerge alternate platforms. Our short-term strategy is the unification of all known platforms to maintain leadership. The telenovela genre should upgrade to boot its entry into the 21st century integrating the digital and social environment in addition to greater inclusion in HD format”, bluntly ends Alexander Fiore a businessman who has dedicated his life to the industry.