El Rey Network
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaNationwide
HeadquartersAustin, Texas
Programming
Language(s)English
Picture format
Ownership
OwnerRobert Rodriguez
FactoryMade Ventures
History
LaunchedDecember 15, 2013 (2013-12-15)
(television)
August 17, 2021 (2021-08-17)
(streaming)
ClosedDecember 31, 2020 (2020-12-31)
(television)
Links
Websitewww.elreynetwork.com
Availability

El Rey Network (Spanish for The King) is a media brand founded by Robert Rodriguez on December 15, 2013, that is currently owned in a joint venture with FactoryMade Ventures.

Until December 31, 2020, El Rey was a cable and satellite network, operated and distributed in-partnership with Univision Communications, dedicated to Grindhouse-style programming targeting Hispanic audiences. By March 2015, approximately 40 million households received El Rey;[1][2] its carriage would fall to 13 million households by the time of the network's closure.[3]

History

As a television network (2013-2020)

El Rey Network was one of two ethnic outlets created as part of an agreement between Comcast, NBC Universal, and the FCC as a condition for the merger between the former two broadcasters (the other network being Revolt).[1]

The network's headquarters was in Austin, Texas, and launched as part of the digital basic service on some of Comcast's systems.[4][5] Comcast announced that the network was expected to debut by January 2014.[6] In August 2012, Antoinette Alfonso Zel was announced as CEO.[7] In May 2013, Univision Communications announced that it would be an investor for El Rey, handling the sales and distribution of the network.[8][9]

In November 2013, it was announced that the production of From Dusk till Dawn: The Series had begun.[10] Upon launch in the week of December 15, 2013,[11] El Rey was also offered by cable companies Time Warner Cable,[12][13] with Bright House Networks offering soon later in January 2014,[14] and Cox Communications by February 2014.[11]

The first satellite service to host El Rey was DirecTV in January 2014,[15]

That year, Lucha libre program Lucha Underground, featuring wrestlers from Lucha Libre AAA World Wide (AAA) and produced by Mark Burnett, premiered on October 29, 2014.[16][17] The show would go on to become the network's flagship series and both it, and the corresponding promotion, received positive reception.[18][19]

Dish Network would begin carrying El Rey in January 2015.[20] The following month, El Rey was made available through cable company Suddenlink Communications in select markets.[21]

Between 2018 and 2020, various cable and satellite providers began dropping the network.[citation needed] On November 6, 2020, Univision announced it had sold its stake in El Rey, as part of a larger effort by the company to refocus on its core Spanish-language businesses.[22][23] Soon after, it would be reported that El Rey would cease operations on December 31, though it was speculated that the network would relaunch as a streaming brand.[24] The network went dark at 2:59 a.m. Eastern.[25]

As a streaming network (2021-present)

On August 6, 2021, El Rey Network announced a partnership with Cinedigm that would see the network relaunch as a streaming platform. As part of this agreement, Cinedigm will exclusively distribute Rodriguez's 2019 film, Red 11, and a companion docuseries titled Rebel Without A Crew: The Robert Rodriguez Film School.[26][27][28] El Rey would relaunch later that month via The Roku Channel on August 17.[29]

Programming

El Rey correspondent Chuey Martinez (in the hat) posing with the cast and crew of Explosion Jones at the 2017 New York Comic Con
El Rey correspondent Chuey Martinez (in the hat) posing with the cast and crew of Explosion Jones at the 2017 New York Comic Con

El Rey Network's original programming included action genre series, sports, and lifestyle programming. Annual programming included a marathon of Toho-produced Godzilla films during the Christmas & Independence Day weekends and the Thanksgiving Way of the Turkey marathon of kung fu films.[30]

Original programming

Acquired programming

Film releases

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Rodman, Sarah (January 26, 2014). "New cable networks hope to blaze a trail". Boston Globe. 285 (26). pp. N1, N8 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ Seidman, Robert (February 22, 2015). "Distribution approximation as of March 2015". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  3. ^ Avalos, Regina (December 30, 2020). "El Rey Network: Robert Rodriguez Channel to End on Thursday". TV Series Finale. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  4. ^ Dinges, Gary (June 11, 2014). "El Rey network to be based in Austin". Austin American-Statesman. 143 (321). Austin, Texas: Cox Media Group. pp. B7, B8 – via Newspapers.com. Note: the link provided is for page B7; here is the link to page B8.
  5. ^ "Comcast to start new minority-owned cable channels". Sports Illustrated. February 21, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  6. ^ Molloy, Tim. "Comcast Announces New Networks With Magic Johnson, Sean Combs, Robert Rodriguez". Reuters. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  7. ^ "El Rey Network Announces Antoinette Alfonso Zel As CEO". PR Newswire. August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  8. ^ "Univision Communications and El Rey Network Announce Strategic Partnership, Unveil Upcoming Scripted Series". Univision. May 14, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  9. ^ "Univision pairs with Rodriguez on El Rey network". Associated Press. May 14, 2013. Archived from the original on October 7, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  10. ^ T2's Robert Patrick & More Join 'From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series', by Craig Hunter
  11. ^ a b de la Fuente, Anna Marie. "Univision's Fourth Quarter, Full Year Revenue Rises". Variety. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "Univision, Time Warner Cable strike new distribution deal". Los Angeles Times. October 9, 2013. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  13. ^ Poggi, Jeanine. "New TV Networks Scorecard: Eight Cable Channels to Watch in 2014". Advertising Age. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  14. ^ "Bright House Networks Launches Univision Deportes Network and Univision tlNovelas". Bright House Networks. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  15. ^ "DIRECTV Rumor Alert (El Rey Network launched 1/1)". satelliteguys.us.
  16. ^ Caldwell, James (July 10, 2014). "AAA news: El Rey announces AAA Lucha Libre show for U.S. TV - timeslot, show title, more details". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  17. ^ "Lucha Underground promotion TV debut moved back three weeks". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. September 22, 2014. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  18. ^ "5/20 Moore's Lucha Underground Review: The Crew vs. Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, and Angelico in a Ladder Match for the Lucha Underground Trios Championship, Marty The Moth vs. Prince Puma, Daivari vs. Texano". Prowrestling.net. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  19. ^ "Lucha Underground: A new era in wrestling". ESPN. January 27, 2016. Archived from the original on September 15, 2016.
  20. ^ Reynolds, Mike. "Dish Inks Distribution Deal with El Rey". MultiChannel News. NewBay Media. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  21. ^ Farrell, Mike. "Suddenlink Launches El Rey Network". Multichannel News. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  22. ^ "Univision Exits Minority Position in El Rey, Enabling El Rey to Continue as an Independently Owned Entertainment Company". Business Wire. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  23. ^ Hayes, Dade (April 8, 2019). "Univision Finalizes Sale Of Former Gawker Portfolio And The Onion To Private Equity Firm Great Hill Partners". Deadline. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  24. ^ Maclean, Amy (December 8, 2020). "El Rey Contemplates Next Steps As Network to Shut Down". CableFax. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
  25. ^ "Schedule for El Rey Network". El Rey Network. Archived from the original on December 31, 2020. Retrieved December 31, 2020.[1]
  26. ^ Faughnder, Ryan (August 6, 2021). "Robert Rodriguez's El Rey Network to revive through streaming after going dark". LA Times. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  27. ^ Spangler, Todd (August 6, 2021). "Robert Rodriguez's El Rey Network Cable Channel to Be Rebooted for Streaming With Cinedigm". Variety. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  28. ^ Hayes, Dade (August 6, 2021). "Robert Rodriguez's El Rey Network Segues From Cable TV To Streaming In Deal With Cinedigm". Deadline. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  29. ^ "The Roku Channel".
  30. ^ "Shows on El Rey Network".
  31. ^ "El Rey Network To Air Legendary "Baja Desert Championship: Baja 500" On August 6th At 5 PM ET". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  32. ^ "Martial Arts Series 'Bushido Battleground' Gets Green Light At El Rey Network". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  33. ^ a b "El Rey Network Adds Pair of Evening Talk Shows". Multichannel.com. April 16, 2019. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  34. ^ Negley, Erin (April 6, 2015). "Making the Cut". LNP. 220 (292). Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Steinman Communications – via Newspapers.com.
  35. ^ Two El Rey Series Stream Over to VRV
  36. ^ Starace, Alex (Winter 2017). "Animation Creation: Octopie Network Spreads its Tentacles". International Opulence Magazine. Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Horizon Publishing. p. 99. Retrieved January 24, 2020. Note: Scroll down the target page to the digital magazine for Winter 2017/2018 and access page 99.
  37. ^ "Man at Arms: Art of War: Season 1" Archived August 20, 2017, at the Wayback Machine. El Rey Network. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  38. ^ El Rey Network Greenlights Second Season Of ‘Man At Arms: Art Of War’
  39. ^ "El Rey Network To Boost Original Content By 50%; 'From Dusk Till Dawn' Still In Limbo – TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  40. ^ "El Rey Network to show marathon of Muhammad Ali's 1977 animated series". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved November 20, 2018.

Further reading