TV

Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey Network partners with Cinedigm to superserve fans with free, ad-supported channel

In partnership with Cinedigm, El Rey Network will relaunch as an over-the-top streaming service with programming.

Robert Rodriguez | Courtesy photo

LOS ANGELES, CA — (ACCESSWIRE) — Cinedigm, the leading independent streaming company super-serving enthusiast fan bases, announced a partnership with El Rey Network, founded by maverick filmmaker Robert Rodriguez (From Dusk Till Dawn, Sin City, Spy Kids, Machete) and FactoryMade Ventures, to reimagine one of entertainment’s most prolific and disruptive brands. Always a renegade, Rodriguez rewrites the rules once again by taking what was once a linear channel and harnessing its passionate fan base for today’s streaming audiences. This marks the first time that a cable brand has pivoted completely from linear to streaming.

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Curated by Rodriguez and his artistic collective, the Latinx-inclusive, English-language channel speaks to Rodriguez’s vision to create a destination that more fully represents the changing face of America and the most culturally diverse generation in history. Featured El Rey Network content includes Rodriguez’s thoughtful conversations with creatives like John Carpenter and Quentin Tarantino in “The Director’s Chair”; “Rebel Without A Crew: The Series,” in which filmmakers set out to make their first feature under Rodriguez’s guidance; a library of unscripted franchises including “The Chuey Martinez Show”; and feature films that run the genre gamut from grindhouse to cult classic action to horror/sci-fi.

The over-the-top streaming service will be made available to all distribution platforms across the broader OTT landscape on connected TVs, digital set-top boxes, media-streaming devices, as well as the web. As part of their deal, Cinedigm will work with El Rey to partner with like-minded advertising brands on custom content and will distribute Rodriguez’s feature film, Red 11 and the companion docuseries, Rebel Without A Crew: The Robert Rodriguez Film School exclusively to all platforms.

Based on Rodriguez’s experiences in a medical research facility to finance his first feature El Mariachi, Red 11 made its world premiere at SXSW and is set in a dark, twisted world of legal drug research where college kids become lab rats to make quick money. Written, produced, and directed by the filmmaker, Red 11 was co-written with Robert’s son Racer Max and went on to play in the Directors’ Fortnight section at Cannes. The “making of” companion series, Rebel Without A Crew: The Robert Rodriguez Film School, is a behind-the-scenes documentary and nuts and bolts film course on how to tackle writing, lighting, filming, directing and editing on an ultra-low budget feature film, using Red 11 as the case study.

“El Rey has always been a network for the people – a mainstream outlet where we discover diverse, independent voices,” said Rodriguez. “The fact that we can also now make our catalogue of kick-ass programming available for free to all gives me enormous joy.”

“As audiences move deliberately to streaming, it was important for me to democratize our platform so that the masses have the opportunity to see themselves in our lineup of curated, inclusive and entertaining content,” added Rodriguez. “This is a huge win in every way, and I want to thank Cinedigm for putting fans first with this new alliance.”

“What was once only available to those with expensive cable packages is now available through a variety of mediums. The partnership with El Rey allows the channel to broaden its digital footprint, as well as expand the access of its incredible programming to audiences worldwide,” said Erick Opeka, President & Chief Strategy Officer at Cinedigm. “We’re excited to be stepping in at this important moment alongside the passion, dedication and forward-thinking vision that Robert Rodriguez brings to the table. In addition, Cinedigm’s strong advertising partner relationships with blue-chip demand partners like Magnite (SpotX/Springserve), Comcast’s Freewheel, Verizon Media, Xander, just to name a few, will allow the channel to generate substantial advertising revenue among a key demographic in the growing AVOD & FAST space.”

“We look forward to working with Chris McGurk and his incredible team at Cinedigm to further engage audiences and align with smart marketing partners to create memorable, custom content that breaks through the clutter,” noted John Fogelman, CEO, FactoryMade Ventures and a founder of El Rey Network.

Launched in 2013, El Rey Network quickly became a home for fans of fearless, action-packed and inclusive programming and was touted as a breakthrough in its voice and directive to increase representation. At its height, El Rey Network reached over 40 million households and became the go-to destination for the Latinx community.

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