Spanish-laguage net to be in five markets

Station group Pappas Telecasting has launched the new Spanish-language network TuVision in five markets — with plans to bring the web to Los Angeles next year.

The Pappas stations — KAZH Houston; KTNC Concord, Calif. (San Francisco/Sacramento); KAZR Reno, Nev.; KAZO Omaha, Neb.; and KAZJ Sioux City, Iowa — had previously been affiliated with upstart Spanish net Azteca America, but Pappas yanked that affiliation at the end of June.

Since then, the outlets have been running a mix of acquired and library Spanish programming — including classic Mexican movies, old concerts featuring singer Johnny Canales, a talker hosted by Marta Susana and the TV Globo telenovela “Alma Gemela.” Now, following its soft launch on July 1, Pappas has officially debuted TuVision.

Pappas said it plans to flip its Los Angeles outlet, KAZA, to TuVision next year; that station’s contract with Azteca America doesn’t expire until June 2008. After that, TuVision will be available in 40% of U.S. Spanish-speaking homes, the company said.

“As the Hispanic market has matured, the desire by our viewers for additional great content has led to the development of this platform,” said Pappas chairman-CEO Harry Pappas.

Fernando Acosta is heading up the weblet for Pappas, where he has topped the group’s Spanish stations for the past five years. Pappas owns 27 stations across the country, including Fox, ABC, CBS, CW and MyNetworkTV affils in addition to the TuVision channels.

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