VideoAge – October 8th, 2019
In 1998, Jorge E. Fiterre was working for the Adelphia cable system in the Miami, Florida area, but was already dreaming of having his own company to distribute TV channels via satellite to a multitude of cable operators worldwide.
The original idea was to provide multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) with opportunities to enhance their businesses in the U.S. Hispanic market by providing a wider offering of popular channels.
The dream became a reality the following year. And in 2019, he’s ready to celebrate Condista’s 20th anniversary.
The vision for Condista (which is an acronym for Content Distribution) came from Canal SUR, a TV channel that was originally from Peru (but today is multi-regional), and was very popular in Latin America. So, in 1999, while working from his house and financing his operation with credit cards, Fiterre acquired the rights to distribute Canal SUR on Dish and DirecTV. The success of that operation brought in other TV channels. First came Puma TV from Venezuela, then Television Espanola from Spain.
In no time at all, Condista expanded its operations, and today its roster of clients includes Antena 3, Canal SUR, Sur Peru, Rai Italia, Hola TV, RCN Colombia, Telefe, VideoRola, TV Venezuela, and TyC Sports.
The expansion was so rapid, in fact, that in 2002 Fiterre was in need of a partner. He found one in Burke Berendes, then a Gems Television (now Telemundo) executive who also helped Condista by handling its U.S. distribution from the West Coast, while Fiterre — on the East Coast — focused on business development.
Under Fiterre’s leadership, Condista has now grown to include Condista U.S., which manages the distribution of channels domestically; Condista Ad Sales, which handles media sales for the networks; Condista International, which manages the distribution for more than 12 networks in Latin America, Canada, and Europe; and Condista Networks, which owns and distributes Kids Central/Family Central, a dual language (English/Spanish) children’s television network that provides entertainment and learning opportunities for children ages three to seven and their families, and is currently distributed on Comcast, where it reaches millions of viewers. Condista also owns and distributes U-Learn–Inglés para Todos, an innovative network dedicated to teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), which is exclusively available to DishLatino subscribers.
Pictured l. to r. are: Jorge Alberto Fiterre, partner and Director of Technical Operations; Jorge E. Fiterre, founding partner; and Willie Hernandez, partner in charge of International Distribution