Azteca America adds 5 U.S. affils

Stations include Albuquerque, Austin, Wichita

MEXICO CITY — U.S. Spanish-lingo network Azteca America has added five affiliates, increasing its reach from 31% to 35% of U.S. Hispanic auds.

The network was launched last year by No. 2 Mexican broadcaster TV Azteca in a bid to tap into the U.S. Hispanic ad market.

The new stations — KQDF in Albuquerque, N.M.; KADF in Austin, Texas; KSMI in Wichita, Kan.; KYAV in Palm Springs and KSBT in Santa Barbara, Calif. — raise the number of affils to 13 stations.

Azteca America is aiming to increase its reach to 70%, including the key markets of New York, Chicago and Miami, and to have 20% share of ad sales by 2005.

“We have only just entered the market and there is a lot of growing to do,” said Rolando Villarreal, of TV Azteca’s investor relations department.

In the second quarter, Azteca America reported just $2.1 million in sales, up from $1.1 million in the first quarter of 2002.

In contrast, market leader Univision Communications reported TV revenue of $272.6 million in the second quarter. No. 2 net Telemundo, a subsid of NBC, does not release its results.

Azteca America reported it has a market share of around 5% in Los Angeles, the largest Latino market in the U.S. and the only one in which viewership of the new network is measured.

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