WAPA America Inks Deals With TW, Bright House

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Starting mid July, Time Warner’s New York City cable system will begin to carry WAPA America, the cable and satellite superstation of Puerto Rico’s WAPA-TV, as part of its Hispanic tier, the companies confirmed.

The agreement, whose financial terms were not disclosed, comes on the heels of WAPA’s carriage deal with Bright House Network, who in March began to carry the Puerto Rico’s station on its digital tier (channel 63) in Orlando, Florida.

“What we have in Orlando is really groundbreaking, because we are on basic digital, not their Hispanic tier,” said Alan Sokol, senior investment Partner at InterMedia, the company that acquired WAPA-TV in 2007. With this, WAPA America will reach over 600,000 subscribers in the Orlando area, instead of the 20,000 it would reach through a dedicated Spanish-language tier. Bright House Network is also expected to launch WAPA America in Tampa.

Ever since it was acquired by InterMedia for $130 million, WAPA-TV has been beefing up content and distribution both in Puerto Rico and in the mainland, where it reaches a total 2.5 million households. “Our goal is to make WAPA the leading service targeting Caribbean Hispanics, who have been largely ignored by the main Spanish-language networks,” said Sokol, who served as Telemundo COO from 1998 to 2003.

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