Struggling U.S. Hispanic web Azteca America and an anonymous U.S. partner are bidding for independent station KWHY-TV, the second Los Angeles channel of NBC-U Spanish-language web Telemundo.
Move dovetails with the Azteca’s efforts to gain a stronger foothold in the vital Los Angeles market, said Azteca America CEO Adrian Steckel. No other bidders have surfaced yet.
NBC-U put KWHY and Puerto Rican indie station KWAQ up for sale last week to fund its acquisition of cable net Oxygen Media.
Telemundo already owned West Coast flagship station KVEA when it purchased KWHY in 2001 for $239 million, forming the first duopoly of Spanish webs in one TV market. “Telemundo has opted to focus on its core station group,” Telemundo spokesperson Alfredo Richard said.
The U.S. subsid of Mexico’s No. 2 web, TV Azteca leases its Los Angeles web, Channel 54. While its affiliate base has expanded rapidly, ratings continue to struggle. It has more than 60 affils and joined Nielsen’s National Television Index last year.
Azteca America claims an average 4% of national viewers in a market dominated by U.S. Hispanic web Univision. Telemundo generally is second, with a third of Univision’s viewership.