Azteca expands to Dish subs

Pact includes 24-hour live rights to 'Academia 4'

HOLLYWOOD — Azteca America, the U.S. broadcast division of No. 2 Mexican net TV Azteca, will expand its U.S. reach to Dish Network satellite subscribers starting April 1.

Net will form part of satcaster’s Dish Latino programming package.

Pact inked between Azteca and Dish parent EchoStar Communications includes 24-hour live broadcast rights to Azteca’s wildly popular musical reality show “La Academia 4,” now in its fourth season.

Last summer, Azteca America inked a carriage deal with Time Warner Cable in New York and New Jersey, giving it access to an estimated 900,000 Hispanic cable subs.

Prior to its accords with the cabler and now Dish, Azteca used affiliation with local broadcast stations, mainly in the UHF frequencies, to expand its reach since its launch in mid-2001.

Azteca America airs in 38 markets that together represent about 78% of the nation’s Hispanic population.

Dish Network reported 10.9 million subscribers at the end of 2004.

— Anna Marie de la Fuente

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