ESPN Deportes, a US Spanish-language sports cable network, has announced its first original scripted series and a new newsmagazine, its first local Spanish-language site, the acquisition of marquee football programming and more HD content.
ESPN Deportes will debut El Diez, a star-studded 10-episode scripted-drama that chronicles the life of a professional soccer player who arrives to Mexico City in search of glory. The show is starring Alfonso Herrera as Chava Espinoza, a young soccer player from Ocotlan, Jalisco, whose performance in the Under-20 World Cup makes him an overnight star. Chava arrives to the capital alongside his childhood friend Jesus "El Cremas" Ramirez (Ernesto Loera) and his manager Gonzalo Gomez (Mauricio Quintana).
Chava is constantly hounded by the media, including Ximena Calleja, an attractive, ambitious and smart journalist who doesn't let anyone into her personal life, until she meets Chava. Throughout his journey, Chava faces the ups and downs of being a superstar and the enormous burden of fans' expectations. He struggles with personal problems and as he is about to leave it all behind, his friends intervene, putting him back on track. The story is anchored on Chava's quest to earn the team's number 10 jersey, worn by soccer legends and coveted by all players.
El Diez is shot in HD on location in Mexico City, with a filmic style and storylines that mirror today's headlines. El Diez will showcase some of Mexico's most legendary and iconic sports locations, making both Mexico City and the country another character in the show. The series is slated to premiere in the fall of 2011.
Also, following the format of ESPN Emmy Award-winning prime-time newsmagazine E:60, ESPN Deportes launches its own version of the show featuring a team of renowned reporters pursuing culturally-relevant stories that take an inside look at the world of sports. E:60 is the first prime-time sports newsmagazine on Spanish-language television in the U.S. Each episode will include one main story produced exclusively for ESPN Deportes along with stories previously featured on E:60. The stories will look at the business of soccer, the Latin American impact on MLB, heart attacks and athletes, the challenges boxers face after their careers are over, the story of two soccer players and the war in Yugoslavia and a look at boxer killed in the ring who donated his organs so others could live.
The network is also working with Time Warner Cable to launch a new online destination for local Los Angeles sports fans, ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com. The co-branded site features exclusive, local, original content focused on analysis and opinion, including exclusive columns, daily blogs on local LA teams, interviews with players and coaches, and investigative journalism. The Spanish-language online destination will also allow fans to be part of the journalistic process by offering continued interaction with the writers and analysts via weekly chats and social media pages.
ESPN Deportes is also announcing that it will provide exclusive Spanish-language television coverage of the XVI Pan American Games - "Guadalajara 2011" - from October 14 to 30. The Pan American Games take place every four years, the year before the Olympic Games, and feature 36 sports competed at the Summer Olympics. More than 6,000 athletes are expected to compete in Guadalajara this fall, representing 42 nations from the Americas. This is the third time that Mexico hosts the event, and the first held in the state of Jalisco.
This summer, ESPN Deportes will provide Spanish-language television coverage of the third annual World Football Challenge. Beginning on July 13 and concluding on July 30, four of the best soccer teams in Europe – Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Manchester City– will face off top North American teams – Club America, New England Revolution, Los Angeles Galaxy, Vancouver Whitecaps, Toronto FC, Chicago Fire, Chivas and Chivas USA- at some of the most recognized stadiums across the U.S.
ESPN Deportes also will be the exclusive Spanish-language television network in the United States for the UEFA EURO 2012. Taking place from June 8 to July 1 in Poland and the Ukraine, the UEFA EURO 2012 will include 31 matches of the top European national teams.
ESPN Deportes is now available in high definition, presenting the network's top programming lineup including coverage of Spain's La Liga, Barclay's English Premier League, EURO 2012 qualifiers, international soccer friendlies, German's Bundesliga, Dutch League, Major League Soccer, Mexican First Division, MLB, NBA, NFL and tennis among other sports. In addition to live events, most of the network's news and information programs will be produced in high definition.
ESPN Deportes HD is delivered as a full simulcast of the ESPN Deportes standard definition channel and is currently available to Time Warner customers in New York City and will be launching June 1st to Bright House customers in Tampa/Orlando, FL and Time Warner Laredo, TX.