Viewers will be reaping new benefits from last year’s normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba. Today, plans were announced to launch CubaNetwork, America’s first multi-platform network dedicated to the island nation.
CubaNetwork will launch as an OTT service in April, with video services provider Vubiquity handling digital storefront management services. It plans to bow a linear TV cable network in May, but carriage deals with MVPDs are still being negotiated. A mobile app is also in the offing.
The backbone of CubaNetwork’s programming will come via a partnership with RTV Comercial of Cuba (RTVC). The network be the exclusive U.S. carrier of video content from the RTVC vaults, including Cuban-made documentaries, TV movies, telenovelas and entertainment shows, as well as current and future programming such as live sporting events from the country (baseball, boxing, basketball and soccer).
CubaNetwork plans to open an office and a production facility in Havana where it will co-produce English-language programs with RTVC, including a daily live show featuring news headlines, lifestyle reports, music, sports, interviews and local stories.
“There’s never been a greater thirst to experience the rich, exotic and vibrant culture of Cuba,” said Keith Bass, CEO of CubaNetwork, in a statement. “That’s why we are launching a new entertainment brand that will serve as a powerful destination for digital video online and on cable with compelling content for the U.S. consumer.”
CubaNetwork is a subsidiary of the Caribbean Broadcasting Network, a privately-held company that owns and operates five television stations in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico that are affiliated with the networks Fox, NBC, CW, THIS and COZI-TV. Headquartered in Hollywood, it has offices in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.