FactoryMade Ventures, which with Robert Rodriguez co-owns Tres Pistoleros Studios and the soon-to-launch El Rey Network, has formed a joint venture with Lucha Libre AAA, the popular Mexican wrestling league. The plan is to re-imagine, operate and expand the league in the U.S. and other international territories on multiple platforms that at first will focus on live events and sponsorship, pay-per-view, scripted and non-scripted series, licensing and merchandise. It’s unclear but possible such an expansion would include a spot on El Ray, the new English-language U.S. cable channel backed and carried by Comcast that will launch January 1, 2014.
Related: Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey Network Inks Six-Series Deal With Georgeville Television
Founded in 1992 by its creator, Antonio Peña Herrada, Lucha Libre AAA is Mexico’s dominant wrestling league with an audience of 1 million for more than 1,000 live events per year and a reach of 52 million viewers on Spanish network Televisa. (It also was the basis for the 2006 comedy feature Nacho Libre starring Jack Black). The joint venture will hold exclusive licenses in all territories excluding Mexico to Lucha Libre intellectual property, which includes its brand, more than 250 characters, and its entertainment formats. Read More »
Robert Rodriguez, P. Diddy, Magic Johnson, Said Schwartz Begin 4 New Minority-Owned Indie Networks With Comcast
Robert Rodriguez, FactoryMade Ventures CEO John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa said they are looking to serve a U.S.-born Latino market they believe is underserved with their El Rey Network. It’s one of four new independent networks Comcast announced today that was selected among more than 100 proposals. As part of the news, the El Rey group announced the formation of Tres Pistoleros, which will develop programming for El Rey, creating content across multiple platforms including reality, scripted and animated series as well as movies, documentaries, music, comedy and sports programming. El Rey will primarily be in English and showcase Hispanic producers, celebrities and public figures. ”What we’re going to offer is not currently out there,” Rodriguez told Deadline. “The majority of the players today are doing a fantastic job serving the first generation [of Latinos in America], and what we want to do is serve their offspring.” The trio said they hope to launch by January 2014. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Former Hollywood agent John Fogelman just phoned to tell me that his FactoryMade Ventures and JC Penney are announcing a 3-year partnership on Friday. The retailer announced on Wednesday it is rebranding itself “jcpenney” and will have a new pricing strategy, corporate identity, new merchandise and updated stores by 2015. One of its brand partners will be Ellen DeGeneres. Penney wants Fogelman’s outfit to help ”re-imagine innovative media and entertainment opportunities”.
This is the introduction that Fogelman’s former client/investor/partner J.J. Abrams set up before the TV producer/filmmaker decided he was too busy and exited those roles. Abrams is friends with ex-Target Chief Marketing Officer Michael Francis who recently joined forces with ex-Apple Retail stores guru Ron Johnson to reinvent J.C. Penney. “They want my company to help reimagine the bricks and mortar experience and online experience,” Fogelman told me. “Just the way that we helped reimagine Hasbro from a toy company into a media company.”
Fogelman, whose company also advises Telefonica, claims that under the 3-year partnership with JC Penney his firm will be paid an annual consultancy fee. Fogelman says another deal with a new client for a new venture announcing March 1 will be the biggest project yet for his firm. Fogelman, a former WME board member, Fogelman brought with him the entire WME skunkworks division in September 2011 to develop a hybrid entertainment and media business and consulting firm.
Fogelman’s is not the only marketing and branding firm hired by J.C. Penney for the transformation to work alongside the retailer’s in-house creative team … Read More »
John Fogelman just phoned me to report that he and JJ Abrams went to dinner two weeks ago and came to the conclusion that the writer-director-producer is too busy to be a partner anymore in Fogelman’s company Factorymade Ventures. The pairing was announced with great fanfare last September after Abrams had taken a brief work sabbatical. At the time Abrams said in a press release: “I felt strongly about continuing to work with John, and this was a chance to support his latest ambitious enterprise, just as he has supported me over the years.” Abrams’ Bad Robot producing partner Bryan Burk was to play an active role in the new company, which was located adjacent to Bad Robot’s headquarters in Santa Monica.
But since then Abrams under his own Bad Robot banner is one of the busiest guys in showbiz with two major network TV shows (Person of Interest on CBS and Alcatraz on Fox) and a major sequel to Star Trek for Paramount as well as multiple apps like the just launched ‘Action Movie’ on iPhone and iPad. Not just Fogelman but insiders close to Abrams also assure me there’s been no falling out between the two men who have a long association dating back to William Morris and WME days as agent and client, and say the duo will likely work together again in the future. “But JJ needs to focus on Bad Robot and the movie he’s directing, the shows and apps and other … Read More »