CNN Latino rides local broadcast into four big DMAs


LPTVHispanics in four markets will have greater choice in programming and will not need an MVPD subscription to get it. The network has deals to use local broadcast digital side channels to bring service to New York, Tampa, Orlando and Phoenix. All four stations are of the low power variety.

In a release, the network stated, “CNN Latino’s broad spectrum of programming covering news, lifestyle, documentary, talk and debate represents an alternative to traditional Hispanic networks, and it will now be available on WBQM Channel 3 in New York, New York; WATV Channel 47 in Orlando, Florida; WTAM Channel 30 in Tampa, Florida; and Channel 44 in Phoenix, Arizona. As part of its expansion plan, CNN Latino has partnered with TMA-TIG, LLC to develop alliances with key Hispanic television stations in east coast markets and CNN Latino has partnered with Lotus Communications to develop its alliance with Channel 44 in Phoenix.”

Group owner TMA-TIG has an interest in the New York and Florida stations. SIMA Communications is said to be the owner of the Florida outlets and part of a joint venture with TMA-TIG.

Lotus Communications Corp owns the Phoenix outlet.

RBR-TVBR observation: This deal underscores the importance of local broadcast, of the full 6 mHZ swathe of spectrum used by local broadcast stations in order to deliver the full benefit of digital broadcast technology, and the importance of low power television.

In particular, it demonstrates that local broadcasters serve the public interest – in this case, by providing an underserved minority population with a news and information choice that also makes it easier for them to cut the cord and say good-bye to a steep monthly MVPD bill if they wish.

It is more proof that the cries stating that broadcast television is a quaint medium of the past are invalid.