×

Azteca America adds affils

Net now covers 60% of U.S. market

MIAMI — Azteca America, the fledgling Spanish-lingo network owned by No. 2 Mexican broadcaster TV Azteca, expects to reach 75% of the U.S. Hispanic market by the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Azteca America, which bowed in mid-2001 with one station in Los Angeles, last week announced four new affils — KZDF in San Diego, KMCE in Monterey-Salinas, Calif., WTPH in Fort Myers-Naples, Fla., and KOHC in Oklahoma City.

Now with 24 affils, many low-power, it reaches 60% of the market.

The network faces competition for affils. Leading Spanish-lingo broadcaster Univision, which is trying to expand the reach of its Telefutura net, has 75% coverage.

NBC-backed Telemundo is trying to narrow the gap between its 91% reach and Univision flagship net’s 97%.

But Azteca America also is trying to beef up its carriage on cable systems, and recently inked deals in Palm Springs, Calif., and Las Vegas, with other accords said to be in the works.

Those efforts are largely on hold due to a dispute with EchoStar.

The satcaster carries TV Azteca’s Mexican channel, Azteca 13, and claimed its contract gave it an exclusive to all Azteca content in the U.S. through March 2005.

Last month, New York’s Southern District Court rejected EchoStar’s application for a preliminary injunction to prevent cablers from carrying the U.S. Azteca web.

Azteca America is programmed exclusively with content from its parent, with primetime staples usually launching Stateside a month or so after their Mexican bows.

The U.S. network is prepping the launch of its first original production, newscast “Hechos America,” to air at 5 p.m. Pacific time, Azteca prexy-CEO Luis Echarte said.

The newscast will be produced from TV Azteca’s studios in Mexico City, using anchors whose work will be backed up by the Mexican news department and supplemented by correspondents in the U.S., he said.

TV Azteca also will take its celebrity news/gossip show “Ventaneando,” which is produced before a studio audience in Mexico City, on the road to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York and Miami to bring it closer to U.S. viewers, Echarte said.

Echarte also is trying to drum up more ad business, acknowledging that the net’s limited availability in its first year created an ad sales “disaster.” He and TV Azteca chairman Ricardo Salinas and other Azteca execs from Mexico held Azteca America’s inaugural upfront presentation May 13 in New York.

“We’re ready with the coverage, and we’ve been getting interest and business from the ad agencies,” Echarte said.

Big advertisers like WalMart and Procter & Gamble are spending some of their coin with the network — as are some Mexican companies with whom Azteca has a relationship south of the border, he said.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa - The

    'Walking Dead' Star Christian Serratos in Talks for Selena Series at Netflix

    Christian Serratos is in negotiations to star in the upcoming Netflix series based on the life of Tejano music star Selena Quintanilla, Variety has confirmed with sources. The series was announced back in December and is described as a coming of age story following Selena (Serratos) as her dreams come true and all the heart-wrenching [...]

  • Songs for Screens Powered by Mac

    Songs for Screens: 'American Horror Story' Makes 'Suddenly Last Summer' Sizzle Again

    FX Network’s “American Horror Story” returns for a ninth season next month, and promos for the next chapter of the anticipated series, dubbed ‘AHS 1984,’ have been airing frequently across cable television throughout August. In the short yet effective spot (see below), the Motels’ melancholic, moody “Suddenly Last Summer” plays as aerial footage of an [...]

  • Wanda Sykes, Mike Epps to Star

    Wanda Sykes, Mike Epps to Star in Multi-Camera Comedy Series for Netflix

    Wanda Sykes and Mike Epps are headed to Netflix. The streamer has ordered a multi-camera comedy series starring the two comedians titled “The Upshaws.” The series centers on a working-class Africian American family in Indiana struggling to make it work and make it right without the blueprints to do it. Sykes will executive produce and [...]

  • Vader Streams Shuts Down

    Vader Streams Shut Down by Hollywood Studios

    A coalition of Hollywood studios and streaming companies announced on Tuesday that they have shut down Vader Streams, which was once a popular source of pirated TV content. The service went offline in early May under mysterious circumstances, leading to speculation that the operator had either absconded or been forced out of business. The Alliance [...]

  • Søren-Sveistrup

    Netflix Teams With 'The Killing' Creator for Crime Thriller 'The Chestnut Man'

    HAUGESUND, Norway  — Further expanding its Scandinavian footprint, Netflix has announced its second Danish original series, “The Chestnut Man,” a police thriller based on “The Killing” creator Søren Sveistrup’s popular novel. The streaming giant will team with Sveistrup’s SAM Productions, minority owned by Studiocanal, part of Vivendi Canal Plus Group, to deliver this noir-influenced literary [...]

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    ICM Blasts Writers Guild Over Withdrawal of State Lawsuit

    ICM Partners has slammed the leaders of the Writers Guild of America over its decision to withdraw from its state court lawsuit in favor of refiling the action in federal court. The agency, which was sued in April by the guild and eight WGA members over charging allegedly illegal packaging fees, issued a statement Tuesday [...]

  • succession

    'Succession' Renewed for Season 3 at HBO

    “Succession” has scored an early Season 3 renewal at HBO. The news comes as the critically-acclaimed drama series is just two episodes into its second season. Season 1 of the series was recently nominated for five Emmy Awards, including for best drama series. “We are elated that ‘Succession’ and its exploration of wealth, power and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content