SAN FRANCISCO – I am Freddy Rolón, Vice President of Programming and Business Initiatives at ESPN Deportes. I lead our programming acquisitions and planning for ESPN’s Spanish language network in the U.S. and oversee both the ESPN Deportes Audio and ESPNDeportes.com businesses.
I’ve been with the company for 12 years and have been fortunate to be part of a continuous string of collaborative projects, including one we are in the midst of working on: ESPN Deportes’ telecast of Super Bowl 50 this Sunday, Feb. 7.
ESPN Deportes has been carrying NFL games since it launched in 2004. We’ve consistently been the Spanish-language media brand with the most NFL coverage.
To have the opportunity to air the Big Game on both our television and audio networks is a milestone we have been working towards since our inception. All of us – from our announcers, Raul Allegre and Alvaro Martin, to Oscar Ramos [senior director of ESPN Deportes content and general manager of ESPN Deportes Radio] and his ESPN Deportes Audio team – are excited to showcase our work to the growing Hispanic NFL fan base, especially those fans who want to follow the game in Spanish but aren’t satisfied with SAP.
The team’s enthusiasm is exciting, I see it every day, and I hope that their energy and passion comes across in all our coverage.
The efforts across ESPN to support ESPN Deportes’ coverage of Super Bowl represent the very best of who we are as a company. It’s taken a tremendous amount of work in a short amount of time, as we finalized our agreement with CBS shortly after Christmas. At ESPN, we take a special pride in how quickly we can rally in support of a common goal, and the entire company has gotten behind this mission.
Our Hispanic fans are experts in living in two worlds when it comes to language and you can get a flavor of our approach by watching any of our networks or using any of our platforms in either Spanish and English.
For example, we are integrating our ESPN Deportes commentators into ESPN’s content and vice versa, and there’s even some blending of languages when appropriate! As someone who didn’t speak English until I was five years old and often experiences life in both languages, it’s exciting to witness ESPN embrace the idea that reaching the US Hispanic audience requires a bilingual strategy.
Two of my favorite examples of the work we’ve done in that vein are:
• NFL Countdown’s feature on Las Panteras Audio commentators who are bringing flair to the Carolina Panthers’ Spanish radio broadcasts.
• ESPN Deportes’ Kenneth Garay calling a touchdown catch by Dan Le Batard on ESPN Audio’s Dan Le Batard Show.
It’s an amazing amount of work in what really has been a short amount of time. I wish I could share all of the examples, but you can experience it yourself by going to any of our platforms and – of course – by tuning in to ESPN Deportes platforms this Sunday.