Spanish language network Azteca America announced a bolstered soccer presence, among other initiatives, at its upfront today in NYC. Mexican team Santos is returning to Azteca’s Liga MX lineup this fall as part of its 2014-2015 slate, the network said. The weekend will kick off with new sports franchise Friday Night Futbol, with two live primetime games every Friday night. On the novela front, Azteca is launching original production Las Bravo, starring Edith Gonzalez, Mauricio Islas and Saul Lizaso. It tells the story of Valentina Bravo and her three wealthy, privileged and prejudiced daughters whose sheltered world falls apart with the death of the family’s patriarch. Azteca also unveiled a new comedy format, El Club del Chiste, a show starring the classic joke as the main character in a modern and cosmopolitan setting. The network also introduced awards program, Premio Mujer, which recognizes the outstanding achievement of Hispanic Women in the U.S. Returning shows on Azteca’s slate include, La Academia Kids, Ventaneando, Venga La Alegria, and Al Extremo.
Azteca also announced the formation of the Azteca Station Group. Since January, the broadcaster has gone from managing and operating 4 stations to 16. The Azteca Station Group now operates in 9 of the top 10 Hispanic Markets. Azteca also is bringing its multi-channel network IrreverenTV to the U.S.. It features digital content and customized branded videos for a millennial audience.