Marcel Vinay Hill, Cesar Diaz Talk New Africa Channel Venture


CANNES: Azteca’s Marcel Vinay Hill and Cisneros Media Distribution’s Cesar Diaz tell World Screen Newsflash more about their companies’ new partnership to launch a new novelas channel for the African continent.

Launched in partnership with digital content distributor AfricaXP, Romanza+Africa will tap into the deep libraries of Azteca and Cisneros Media Distribution, featuring titles like Catalina and Sebastian and Secret of Love. The initial target markets include South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Nigeria, but opportunities are also being pursued in Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Mauritius and The Seychelles.

“Cisneros and Azteca have a lot of soap operas already dubbed into English for the market,” Marcel Vinay Hill, president of international sales at Azteca, tells World Screen Newsflash. “We’re just exploiting more of what we already have. We will continue to expand the exploitation of our product in all media, OTT, on cable systems, whatever is possible.”

On the relationship with Cisneros Media Distribution, Vinay Hill said, “We’re competing but we’re also friends. Sometimes they buy from us and sometimes we buy from them. Right now we have two soap operas from Cisneros in Mexico and they have two soap operas in Venezuela.”

Diaz, VP of Cisneros Media Distribution, said the new initiative is “strategically super important” for the company. “We’ve been selling telenovelas in the region for over a decade. Along with Azteca, we were pioneers in introducing telenovelas and taking the risk in dubbing when no one wanted to invest. We both invested at the same time. That was 16 novelas ago. Now we’re launching a channel for the region with all the catalogue of novelas that we’ve collected.”