Pay TV net caters to immigrant U.S. auds

Web to show novelas, 'De Mentes Deportivas,' 'Mucha Musica'

MIAMI — Colombian broadcaster RCN, City TV of Bogota and Colombian daily newspaper El Tiempo have created a new pay TV net, TV Colombia, targeting expat and immigrant auds in the U.S.

Backers hope to bow the channel in mid-May. TV Colombia is negotiating for carriage with Comcast, among other MSOs, and is pursuing DTH deals as well, said Sofia Herrera, feevee’s VP of sales and marketing.

The channel will be available in digital and analog but “we expect it will mostly be part of digital premium or Latin or Spanish packages,” Herrera told Daily Variety. “There may be some MSOs in areas with large concentrations of Colombians that want to put it on basic.”

The Colombian Embassy estimates more than 2 million Colombians live in the U.S.

RCN is one of two private broadcasters in Colombia. It has a long-term programming exclusive with U.S. Spanish-lingo media conglom Univision Communications, an accord Herrera maintains will not interfere with TV Colombia.

“If Univision is not interested in a particular program or doesn’t have a time slot for it, RCN can program it on TV Colombia,” she said. “Otherwise, it will respect Univision’s windows.”

RCN, owned by the family-controlled Organizacion Ardila, is probably best known in the U.S. for its telenovela “Betty La Fea,” which ran on Telemundo and was later acquired by Univision.

TV Colombia will feature RCN novelas from the network’s programming library, news, sports and entertainment programs, as well as original City TV productions such as sports show “De Mentes Deportivas” and “Mucha Musica.”

The City TV channel is licensed from Toronto-based Chum City and operated in Bogota by the El Tiempo publishing group, backed by the Santos family.

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