Canucks Latinize local concept

BOGOTA — Canada’s ChumCity Intl. has brought its local TV concept to Colombia in the form of CityTV Bogota, which launched at noon on Friday.

Bogota’s first UHF channel, CityTV is a franchise owned by leading newspaper El Tiempo and modeled on Chum’s Toronto flagship station.

Startup costs are estimated at $50 million over the first year from launch.

The station will air 12 hours daily and aims to win 16% of Bogota audience share in its first year.

Programming will be targeted at 18- to 40-year-olds, with a strong local emphasis and 50% local production.

“Normal TV just shows the stars and politicians, but people want to see their everyday life on TV,” said station head Ivan McAllister.

El Tiempo secured its broadcast license in June 1998, despite protest from two national private networks, RCN and Caracol, which had just previously paid $95 million each for national licenses.

They complained that the $14 million El Tiempo paid was too low, since Bogota accounts for 55% of the national TV ad pie, despite repping just 18% of Colombia’s 38 million population.

“Bogota is where the money is — you always go for the sweetest nut,” said ChumCity director of station development Jacques de Suze.

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