Pappas, Azteca Reach Agreement For LA Market

Station operator Pappas Telecasting has reached a five-year deal with Spanish-language network Azteca America, allowing it to continue airing on a key Los Angeles station. The deal for use of KAZA-TV goes through 2012, giving Azteca an ongoing presence in the country's second-largest market.

The companies said the $129 million that Pappas owes Azteca America has been adjusted as part of the new deal.

Last year, Pappas stopped carrying Azteca on five of its stations, including Houston and San Francisco--and instead launched its own would-be competitor to Univision and Telemundo called TuVision. Pappas could have given TuVision a boost by placing it on its Los Angeles station, although the change in the $129 million financial liability could have prompted the deal to keep Azteca on KAZA.

Also part of the new deal with Azteca: Pappas can run TuVision on one of KAZA's digital multicast channels--brought on by the government-mandated switch from analog to digital broadcasts.



"The agreement ensures a long term presence in the nation's largest and most important U.S. Hispanic market at favorable conditions," said Adrian Steckel, president and CEO of Azteca America. "It consolidates our solid market positioning, and allows (Azteca America) to continue adding increased value for the network, and steadily raise overall profitability."

Azteca America--with novelas and soccer as cornerstones of its program lineup--is available in 89% of Hispanic households in the U.S. and is in 61 markets, the company said.

Pappas is privately held and runs 27 stations, including Fox, ABC, CBS, CW and MyNetworkTV affiliates in small to-mid-size markets. Plus, TuVision is on the five of its stations.

Azteca America is owned by Mexican broadcaster TV Azteca.

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