LATV Inks Post-Newsweek Deal

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Latino youth network LATV will see its distribution increase by half to some 8 million households following an agreement to be carried as a multicast channel by Post-Newsweek Stations in Houston, San Antonio and Miami and Orlando, Fla., beginning in late April.

The deal is the largest multicast agreement to date in the Hispanic market.

LATV is pursuing similar arrangements with other broadcasters in the top 25 Hispanic DMAs.

"I expect we will add six markets in ‘07" LATV president Danny Crowe said. "It is realistic for us to be in well over 15 million homes after the first year."

Such a jump in distribution would significantly tighten the competition between LATV and the other three Latino youth networks: MTV Tr3s, NBC Universal-owned mun2 and Sí TV.

LATV -- which started in January 2001 -- has lagged well behind its competitors in cable and satellite distribution nationwide. Presence in 15 million households would put its distribution on par with or above its competitors.

The Post-Newsweek deal is one of a handful of multicast deals involving Hispanic networks. Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo, for instance, is carried as a multicast channel on Meredith Broadcasting-owned WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tenn.

Asked if such a deal was premature, Post-Newsweek Stations CEO Alan Frank responded, "There is a ramp-up period for us, as well as our viewers and advertisers. Now is the time to do that -- not two years from now, when everybody is already on board. We'd like to be running by then, not walking."

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