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Guillermo Sierra

Edye is experiencing a growth momentum among US operators

HITN’s Edye SVOD platform, targeting preschoolers, recently became available on Verizon Play Plus in the US. Of the approximately 40 channels on Verizon Play Plus, three or four are Hispanic, with Edye the only one aimed at preschoolers.

According to Guillermo Sierra, director of Television and Digital Services at HITN, joining Verizon boosted Edye, which is already in the process of technical integration with US operators. “We hope to announce other operators very soon. The release on Verizon helped us a lot because the content is beginning to have more visibility.”

He added that Mexico is the first country where Edye is fully distributed on all the major operators -Izzi, Claro, Megacable, DISH-. “And we are starting to work with the little ones, with the cooperatives,” he commented.

In the rest of Latin America, Edye continues to grow in distribution. “We are on Telefónica and VTR in Chile. We have had extraordinary success with Claro in Colombia with a telemarketing sales effort, and we have seen the numbers grow fast. When we have the opportunity to explain to parents what we do with Edye, the results are extraordinary. This is the first experiment we are replicating in other territories,” he explained.

He highlighted the extraordinary work of Castalia in the distribution of Edye. “It has been one of our most useful alliances; Edye is part of their prestigious portfolio. Castalia executives are in contact with industry leaders,” he said.

He said that Javier López Casella, an independent representative, is helping them with the representation of Edye in Brazil. “Brazil is an important market, the part for children is very well supported.”

Sierra highlighted as another achievement of Edye the programming block created with Carlos Corona’s New York-based Playgarden Prep that debuted with the launch of Edye in Brazil.

“We came up with the idea of taking their content and placing it under Playgarden English -instead of Playgarden Prep- and we are offering it as an experiment in Latin America, in the US it is sold as premium content. We created a little block inside Edye, ‘Learn in English with Edye.’ It is well-produced. Some episodes will include a puppet of  Ray, our mascot (The Jim Henson Company made the puppet). We made a very nice opening with all the graphics and with the Playgarden teachers,” Sierra explained.

Playgarden Prep content will allow children to have fun with songs, games, and activities in English.

Sierra shared that to introduce the block, they sent a letter to the operators, saying it does not replace the Edye content and is a new category. “It coincided with the successful launch in Brazil, where it had a million views in our test period through Claro Brasil on our Portuguese feed.”

Regarding the HITN channel, Sierra referred to their success with the broadcast of the Spanish series Isabel, La Cocinera de Castamar, and recently with El Tiempo entre Costuras. He also mentioned Centro Médico, which has been on the air for several years on TVE. “The dramas work very well for us without losing the educational part,” he said.

“We are focused on growing our ratings. At the end of 2022, we were the independent Hispanic channel with the highest ratings in the US.”

For September, HITN brings the special program Webinar Los Niños y Las Redes Sociales. “We thought it was essential to create a panel of representatives of networks and education. The responsible way to touch social networks,” he said.

To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, HITN has several programs dedicated to highlighting great Hispanics in the world, like an interview with Pope Francis to mark the 10th anniversary of his ascension to the papacy (10 Años con Papa Francisco). Some biographical programs such as a one-hour special on Dr. Liza Lifshitz titled Dr. Aliza un Legado de Vida y Salud, one with Bismarck Lepe, founder of Google, who promotes technology among Hispanics, with the Argentine Susana Tubert, responsible for all the Disneyland shows in Los Angeles; and with the Mexican Javier Bolaños Meade, physician and associate professor of Oncology at John Hopkins Hospital; among others. “We are creating a programming slot between September 15 and October 15 highlighting Hispanics, some with specials, others with short pieces.”

Also, nature and wildlife segments work very well for HITN. For this season they bring the premiere of Táctica de Supervivencia and in Estelares several specials about hunting animals.