Key affiliate pickups for Fox’s new Hispanic broadcast network are KWHY in Los Angeles, the largest Hispanic market with 13.4% of Hispanic homes, and WJAN in Miami, the No. 3 Hispanic market with 5.2% of Hispanic homes. Of this first batch of 20 markets covering 40% of U.S. Hispanic homes, New York is conspiculously missing. It’s the No. 2 Hispanic market and MundoFox says it’s talking to several stations there.
Fox is off to a good start in collecting affiliates for its planned Spanish-language network, MundoFox, lining up outlets in 20 markets, including two of the top three Hispanic markets, Los Angeles and Miami. Combined, the charter affiliates cover nearly 40% of Hispanic TV homes.
“Only six weeks have passed since we announced MundoFox, and we have exceeded our expectation,” said Hernan Lopez, president-CEO of Fox International Channels, in a prepared statement. “In the last 20 years, no U.S. broadcast network has secured such a large footprint so quickly without assistance from O&O stations. Interest in MundoFox has been tremendous, and we now expect to exceed our original goal of securing distribution in 75% of U.S. Hispanic households by launch.”
Fox and its partner, Colombian programmer RCN, announced the channel in January at NATPE, promising a September launch and enough affiliates to participate in the upfront selling this spring.
Key affiliate pickups are KWHY in Los Angeles, the largest Hispanic market with 13.4% of Hispanic homes, and WJAN in Miami, the No. 3 Hispanic market with 5.2% of Hispanic homes.
Currently an independent Spanish-language station, KWHY is owned by the Meruelo Group headed by local businessman Alex Meruelo. It bought the station last year from NBCUniversal for $40 million. The FCC compelled NBCUniversal to spin off the station to comply with local ownership restrictions at the time of NBCUniversal’s takeover by Comcast.
WJAN is a Class A LPTV station, licensed to America-CV Station Group, of which Omar Romay is president and CEO. The group also owns a low-power station in East Orange, N.J., in the New York market and full-power stations in Puerto Rico.
Still missing is an affiliate in New York, Hispanic market No. 2 with 9.6% of Hispanic homes. “We are in conversation with several stations that have approached us to express their interest on MundoFox,” Lopez said in an email. “Because of the importance of this market, we are taking our time to carefully evaluate all opportunities.”
Other cleared markets (and their Hispanic market rank): San Antonio (7), Texas; San Francisco (8); Phoenix (9); Sacramento (11); Fresno, Calif. (14); Tampa (20); Las Vegas (23); West Palm Beach, Fla. (28); Bakersfield, Calif. (31); Monterey, Calif. (34); Fort Myers, Fla. (37); Palm Springs, Calif. (39); Odessa, Texas (43); Santa Barbara, Calif. (45); Lubbock, Texas (51); Boise, Idaho (71); Abilene, Texas (78); and San Angelo, Texas (92).
According to Fox, all affiliates in the top 10 markets are fully distributed on local cable systems and satellite, even though not all are full-power stations with must-carry rights.
Lopez said that Fox did not want to reveal the names of affiliates until it received permission to do so from the affiliates. Others he could identify were Hero Broadcasting (KMOH Phoenix) and Cocola Broadcasting (KGMC Fresno).