Imagina targets US Hispanic nets

Spanish distributor Imagina is targeting format sales in the US Hispanic market after a revamp of its international sales operations. The company, which was formed following the merger of Spanish producers Mediapro and Arbol, is in discussions with broadcasters Univision and Telemundo to coproduce or sell the format rights to shows including Medico de Familia (Family Doctor) and Periodistas (Journalists).

Jose Huertas, Imagina’s general director of international sales, told TBIvision: "2008 is the year that we aim to penetrate the US Hispanic market. We will aim to penetrate little by little as we have in other parts of Europe and the world."

Accent problems have previously prevented Imagina from selling into the US. "Producers from Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico dominate the US Hispanic channels," Huerta said. "It is natural that the great influence on US Hispanic TV is Latin, after all the audience watching it come from that continent. The thing is they are not used to the Spanish accent. For them it sounds very harsh, almost like German. We need to change our product and give them what they want."