Federico Lariño, Senior VP of Sports Entertainment at TelevisaUnivision Deportes
TelevisaUnivision Deportes: We are preparing a reality featuring MMA fighters for ViX+
Maribel Ramos-Weiner|29 de julio de 2022
The Sports Entertainment division of TelevisaUnivision Deportes, led by Federico Lariño, SVP of Sports Entertainment, is preparing a special series for ViX+ that entails an evolution of Combate global. It is a reality show about fighters.
“We are creating this format in-house together with the Combate people. It will be released in August starting with six episodes and 12 more in 2023. We will be a spearhead within the mix-martial arts (MMA) in Spanish. We feel that what is missing from MMA is to wash out its reputation of violence, show its professionalism and life’s stories that this type of show usually does not include,” said Lariño.
60% of the MMA audience in Spanish are women, while in English 70% are men. "The audience prefers the stories of women who fight because there is a component of history and family," he explained.
The title of the show would be Combate Global Exclusivo, Duelo de Gimnasios (Exclusive Global Combat, Gym Duel) within gyms in Mexico, the US, and Europe.
Another project Lariño is working on is a tour to say goodbye to Univisión's soccer sportscaster, “El Perro” Bermúdez, who is leaving the channel. On this journey, “El Perro” invites sportscaster friends from other networks to work together during a game.
The project also includes searching for new talent through a sportscasters’ casting. The selection is done by a jury chaired by "El Perro". The auditions are held in different cities in Mexico and, in October, when the games are over, the winner will be revealed. The award is for a year of work in Mexico and personalized mentoring with "El Perro".
For Combate global, they are also preparing an exhibition fight with actor Gabriel Soto, who has skills in boxing.
“We want to include even more people from entertainment. The plan is that the fight takes place in March or February of next year, as soon as Soto finishes the telenovela he is recording,” he said.
He indicated that they have almost convinced an opponent for the five-round fight. Lariño added that they will do a series of four to six episodes featuring the journey to the fight, with Soto's drama preparing the telenovela and his upcoming wedding to the Russian Irina Baeva. "It is a complete novel written from real life."