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ESPN Deportes to debut L.A. studio show

February 10, 2011 |  5:56 pm

Adriana and david1 ESPN Deportes has finally made it to Southern California, home to the largest concentration of Hispanics in the United States.

On Monday, the seven-year-old Spanish-language cable network will debut the weekday sports and entertainment show Nacion ESPN, its first studio program from ESPN’s facility across from Staples Center.The hourline show will air weeknights at 7 PT followed by a rerun at 10. 

But the location won’t be the only thing that makes the show unique. It will also have the largest budget and the most expensive set of ESPN Deportes’ eight studio shows. The hosts will be David Faitelson, for two decades one of the most recognized sports reporters in Mexico, and Adriana Monsalve. a pop singer and TV personality in her native Venezuela before joining ESPN Deportes as a SportsCenter anchor. 

"It’s very interesting for me to have a debate with a woman, a woman speaking about sports," the outspoken Faitelson said. "Maybe in the U.S. and in other countries, it's normal. But in Latin America and in Mexico, to see a woman speak naturally about sports, it's a very, very nice exercise.

"It’s refreshing. I’m excited."

Ignacio Garcia, the show’s coordinating producer, said the show will be broken into segments featuring news and highlights, interviews and celebrity gossip. There will also be audience-participation elements through Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

And as if the underscore the eclectic nature of the show, the first guest will be Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre, coach of the Mexico’s national soccer team, followed by Chilean pop star Beto Cuevas and Cuban-American rapper Pitbull.

But the real star of the program may be the Latin American-themed set, which features a Touchscreen monitor, a Spanish tile floor and a backdrop that looks like a balcony looking out over the L.A. skyline.

ESPN Deportes’ seven other studio shows are taped in Miami, Mexico City or at ESPN’s home in Bristol, Conn. Being in L.A., Garcia said, will bring the network closer to its audience.

"We were wanting to a have a show from here for many years," he said. "It makes total sense. It's kind of coming and doing it from the backyard of our hardcore fans. We want to be up close to the fans. The viewers will have an important role."

Adds Monsalve: "You have to feel the rhythm. You’re feeling that adrenaline. And I think we need that. That’s why we’re here. We want to have that Latin rhythm and we want to be in touch with that audience."

 -- Kevin Baxter

Photo: David Faitelson and Adriana Monsalve on the set. Credit: ESPN Deportes.

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