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TeleNoticias takes its act Stateside

The 24-hour Spanish-language news channel CBS TeleNoticias on March 17 will start transmitting a U.S. version of its pan-Latino network.

Lloyd Werner, executive VP of sales and marketing for CBS Cable, said no cable systems are on board yet, but by offering cable operators “bar-none exclusivity” — no other competing distributors would get access to the channel, not even DirecTV — Werner said he hopes to get a leg up on CNN en Espanol if Turner Broadcasting decides to try to sign U.S. cable systems for the service.

CBS TeleNoticias already reaches about 800,000 households in the Florida area through cable carriage of UHF outlet WEYS Key West. Werner said he’s looking for cable-system deals in parts of the U.S. where there are concentrations of Spanish-speakers, such as Southern California, New York City, New Mexico and Texas cities such as San Antonio and El Paso.

The rate card for the channel will dun cable operators a monthly fee of about 15¢ a subscriber, which is roughly what they pay for MTV or for CBS Cable’s Nashville Network. Werner said that according to Census Bureau figures, the potential market for CBS TeleNoticias is the 7.5 million Hispanic households in the U.S., of which 4.3 million are either cable subscribers or satellite-dish owners. By 2010, the Census Bureau expects the Hispanic-household figure to hit 20 million. Werner said the content of the individual news stories on CBS TeleNoticias will not change when the network finds its way into U.S. homes. But the U.S. control-room editing staff will switch the stories around for better placement of articles of more interest to Spanish-speaking people in the U.S.

Westinghouse/CBS bought CBS TeleNoticias in June. The net reaches more than 10 million households in 18 countries.

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