WAPA America, the U.S. cable network arm of Puerto Rico’s leading broadcast network, is partnering with MVPD affiliates to allow all of their subscribers to have access to the channel free of charge, making WAPA America’s comprehensive live broadcast coverage of Hurricane Maria’s aftermath available to concerned U.S. viewers, the network said in a release.
The Hemisphere Media Group outlet, available on the Hispanic program packages of major cable, satellite and telco providers in the U.S., has also made the network available for free live streaming to the entire country on WAPA.tv, where the station continues to provide in-studio and on-location coverage of the storm and its aftermath despite widespread damage and loss of power on the U.S. territory. The station's news crew (the ones who can safely make it in) have been working around-the-clock, with a cook on site preparing meals for the staff, a WAPA representative said.
Hemisphere's Television Dominicana network also is offering its signal free to affiliates for coverage of Maria's impact on the Dominican Republic, during the storm's aftermath.
READ MORE: Dominican channel seeks restoration on DirecTV
UPDATE: According to the network, as of this week Verizon Fios TV, Altice USA, Cox Communications, DirecTV, AT&T U-verse and RCN were among affiliates that had made the WAPA America channel available to customers free of charge.
There are currently more than 5 million Puerto Ricans living in the continental U.S.—more than on the island. “We know a lot of our U.S.-based brothers and sisters have family and loved ones in Puerto Rico, and we are proud to provide the only platform where Puerto Ricans and other viewers on the U.S. mainland can follow the aftermath of the most dangerous storm to ravage the Island in decades,” Jose E. Ramos, president of WAPA TV, said in the release. “We are committed to being the trusted resource people turn to for coverage of the most important events affecting Puerto Rico.”
WAPA Television is the leading broadcast station in Puerto Rico and boasts the largest news-gathering team on the Island, producing more than 30 hours a week of local news, all of which is transmitted on WAPA America, according to the network. WAPA America is currently viewed in more than 5.1 million homes throughout the U.S. and distributed on such affiliates as AT&T-DirecTV, Comcast, Charter Spectrum, Dish Network, Verizon FiOS, Cox Communications and Altice.