Luis Merlo: Each year we are going to increase the number of hours of production

TV Azteca: We pretend to reach 204 hours of production of original content in 2023 for Azteca Siete
Vanessa Maldonado, Mexico City|29 de julio de 2022

Azteca Siete and its VP, Adrián Ortega, are aiming to increase year-on-year the number of original fiction content, including series and unitary, according to the network's Director of Content Development, Luis Merlo; hence in 2023, they intend to reach 204 hours of productions, which will reinforce their current content developments such as Un Día para Vivir (A day to live) and La Lotería del Crimen (The crime lottery).

“Since Adrián Ortega invited me to work with him in content development, we have attempted to produce the best content, with our own productions and original, different and innovative stories that address current and attractive issues for our audience,” Merlo said.

Currently they are in production of the second season of Un Día para Vivir, which marks their return to fiction. Merlo highlighted that this second installment "comes recharged, with a stronger presence of our protagonist, María José Magán, who plays death and drives the characters to major dilemmas. We have more stories with extra impact and we change the recording format. We went from a mobile unit to independent cameras, with cinema optics, and we added Raúl Caballero to the team, who comes from cinema and series. We have a different visual narrative and high-level photography.”

La Lotería del Crimen will be aired in October and is one of the company's greatest challenges. "It is a very ambitious project, because there are few Mexican police productions, but at the same time this gives us a lot of faith about this project. We are recruiting the best team, with people who are producing series for platforms, which gives us an edge to be more competitive."

With the addition of talents from international productions behind cameras, Merlo explained that the objective of the company, especially of Azteca Siete, is to create a hybrid between cinema and TV, "with a more visual cinematographic language and narrative". In order to do this - he said - they had to outline a strategy to define the profile of the channel and the schedule by audience analysis and working together with the programming team, "to learn about its consumption habits and also of our competition; and therefore begin to develop stories with a selected group of producers, writers and directors."

Starting this year this year they implemented a 360 strategy. It entails that they put an idea on paper and they produce it. "We do not commission it to anyone else. According to the profile of the program, my team selects the director, the photographer. Photography is not the same in fantasy, horror or drama. We also manage the casting direction. All this puts us in control of the project.”

Finally, he added that they are betting on a high production level: "Each year we are going to increase the number of hours of production and in 2023 we will reach 204 hours, with the idea of covering different genres in series and unitary formats."