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Barba Taps the Web to Give Broadcasters the World.

Carlos Barba is back! Once again, with an innovating project. The veteran broadcaster, producer, distributor and advertising executive has now embraced the Internet.

Basically, Barba took the idea of Rafael Gutierrez and sought the financial talent of Ramiro Miqueli, and hatched, a multifaceted Web-based structure that marries broadcasting to the Internet.

For the record, Barba, now chairman of the dot-coin company, was the former president of Telemundo. Miqueli, president of, was previously the general manager at CBS TeleNoticias and Gutierrez, vp of, was the president of World Productions.

The concept behind is simple. For the broadcaster, the Internet startup wants to offer an opportunity for a channel to webcast its schedule worldwide, live or delayed, via streaming media and at no cost. For the viewer -- among other services -- will provide a template allowing consumers to showcase their family album and also give them the opportunity of tuning in any TV station from any place on the globe at no cost to the user.

In the beginning, Barba and company will draw from their collective expertise in the Latin and Hispanic television markers to fine-tune's offerings. Subsequently, they will move to the French (UnDeuxTrois), German (EinsZwei- Drei), English (OneTwoThree) and Italian (UnoDueTre) dot-com markets. This with the assurance that for each territory (or country), only one broadcaster will be represented.

Video Age caught up with Barba and his dot-com team during the PROMAX & BDA Latin America conference in Miami.

Video Age: What is the potential for the Hispanic online community?

Carlos Barba: Currently there are 5 million Hispanics online. The U.S. Hispanic demographic all told has become a country within itself, outnumbering the current population in Canada. With this in mind, the Hispanic Internet community is growing faster than other non-Hispanic households and represents an affluent cluster that advertisers are desperately trying to reach. The U.S. Hispanic market, with a combined buying power of $380 billion and an average annual household income exceeding $40,000, represents a substantial opportunity for advertisers.

E-commerce has achieved impressive growth in the United States and has been projected to reach revenues of $13 billion in 1999. Worldwide, there are 2.2 million Internet users in Spain, Latin America claims 7.5 million and Brazil estimates they have 1 million persons online. That is an impressive online community. By the end of 2000, the Latin American online population is expected to reach 34 million.

VA: What differentiates from all the other Hispanic-geared sites?

Barba: aggregates elements of three traditional Internet business approaches: online portal, e-commerce and virtual community. The site is free and will eventually be offered in 13 languages.

VA: What is the financial model on which will be based?

Ramiro Miqueli: As just mentioned, the financial model that we are basically building is a combination of the three best elements of the Internet: a portal, e-commerce and a family-oriented site. As a portal, we offer banner advertising and a search engine. For the banner advertisements, we will charge per impression. On the average, the charge is between $25 and $35 per thousand impressions. will get, easily, five million impressions per week. We are nor at that level now, but eventually, that's our goal. Another financial model associated with portals is sponsorships. Companies can sponsor an entire webpage or a specific session.

As for e-commerce, we signed a partnership alliance with Outlet-america, a company that offers about 500,000 products.

We have created a family site in order to attract people to the site. We offer the family album, where people can create an album of pictures, and also telephony, where people can make calls via the Internet to avoid paying long-distance fees.

We will also have premium services. Right now, we are offering 10 megabytes of storage space. Other Internet companies offer only 4-5 megabytes, so this is substantially more space. The idea is to have not only families building their own family albums, but to enable a school or company to post series of pictures and information about their members.

Another premium service will give people the ability to trace their own roots. For the future, one of the things that we will be doing is pay-per-view. We are currently implementing broadband content.

VA: Who advertises with

Rafael Gutierrez: We have an aggressive in-house sales force that recently signed up 24/7 Media, one of the largest direct-mail advertisers on the Internet. Initially, we had the benefit of having Xceed represent us for our marketing needs.

VA: What sort of partnership agreements have you secured?

Gutierrez: We provide hyperlinks to Fashion Window, a great site for the fashion-minded, and Medicina 2000, a medical site that provides answers to health queries and offers medical products.

We have other Internet partnerships in the works. We recently signed a letter of intent with Televideo Services. Televideo owns and operates more than 30 television and radio stations in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru and Chile. Our prospective partnership with Televideo will promote respective business territories and establish e-tail businesses.

We have music. Puma TV is a 24-hour Spanish music channel that is similar to MTV. Puma TV is broadcast both on cable and terrestrial television stations in Venezuela, Central America and several other countries in Latin America.

VA: Is the site complete?

Barba: We are just beginning Phase II of our website development. This includes a broadband content to provide interactive family programming, online telephony to enable voice communication via the Internet, file-cabinet services to allow storage of video clips, content in Portuguese and 12 other languages to link families all over the world, recipes to build interactive features and provide content publishing and an online genealogical research area.
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Title Annotation:Carlos Barba
Publication:Video Age International
Geographic Code:00WOR
Date:Jan 1, 2000
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