LATV gets much less media coverage than its English-language and Latino-themed rivals mun2 and SíTV. The network has thirty staffers and under 4 million subscribers. Unlike mun2, which is owned by NBC Universal, or SíTV, whose investors include Time Warner Cable and EchoStar Communications Corp., LATV cannot count on corporate leverage with cable and satellite operators.
So, “we are going to get distribution through cable and satellite solely by the quality of our programming and the demand for it,” said network president Daniel Crowe.
One of LATV’s most popular programs has been its regional Mexican music show Mex 2 The Max, which is heavily downloaded through Time Warner VOD. Regional Mexican music has been largely ignored by other English-language media.
LATV has begun syndicating its programming, and Mex 2 The Max was the first program sold. Crowe is also negotiating content deals with Internet firms and wireless providers, and the network recently started a music label — all in the hopes of securing national distribution for LATV’s music-centered programming.
While its name may suggest that the network is aimed squarely at Angelenos, LATV is programmed for young Hispanics nationwide. “Our content, whether live performances, music videos or celebrity guest interviews … have always been representative of the entire Latin world, not just Southern California,” said Crowe.
LATV’s shows cover a broad range of Latin music genres, and its veejays come from both coasts as well as several different countries of origin.
Crowe sees the Internet as another way to reach his core audience of young Latinos nationwide. LATV’s page on the MySpace social networking Web site features postings from users relating to Latin rock, reggaeton and regional Mexican music. LATV revamped its MySpace site in January, prompting an additional two thousand people to register for network programming updates.
Before starting work at LATV, Crowe was the general manager of a Los Angeles AM-FM Hispanic radio station duopoly then owned by El Dorado Communications. He oversaw the change of the FM station to a Latin pop/rock format. Tom Castro, who was then El Dorado’s president and majority shareholder, said, “[Within] a few months of starting, Danny — who is neither twenty-something nor Latino, which was our target audience — was speaking as if he was one of them.”
With several networks using music programming to reach the same audience, there is some overlap. “People out there are doing what we do,” Crowe said. “It is flattering … I suppose.”