by Antonio Mejías-Rentas
MÁS EN ESPANOL: Three very different Spanish language TV networks announced major alliances with cable and satellite providers last week in Los Angeles.
V-Me, a channel created by private investors in alliance with public TV stations and launched in the spring, announced its carriage by Southern California’s dominant cable provider Time Warner.
The network, which is seen nationally on the Dish satellite service and basic cable services in major U.S. Hispanic markets, boasts of being the fastest growing Latino channel in history. According to press materials, its national penetration is surpassed only by Galavisi6n, an 1 8-year-old cable channel that’s part of the Univision Network. Its 24/7 content include gramming, such as its nightly talk-show Viva Voz.
The Oct. 17 announcement by V-Me coincided with the national launch of Mega TV, a South Florida station operated by the nation’s second-largest radio network, Spanish Broadcasting System, and now carried nationally by the Direct TV satellite service.
A good chunk of Mega TV’s programming is in fact based on its “Radio en TV concept, simultaneous broadcasts of the radio network’s two highest-rated morning drive programs, New York’s El vacilón and Los Angeles’s El Cucuy. The latter’s star, Renán Almenáarez Coello, was among celebrities at a rooftop party at a Los Angeles highrise.
Making a similar announcement the day after was Shop Latino TV, an onair marketplace launched in June and carried nationally by Dish Network.
In a related item, the Buenos Aires-based Dori Media Group announced the launching of its third telenovela channel on YouTube. The channel, seen on www.youtube.com/elrefugio, airs a soap opera from Israeli-Argentinean producer Yair Dori. The group also operates www.youtube.com/telenovela abd www.youtube.com/ rebelde.
ONE LINER: On Oct. 16, Ricky Martin received the 2,351st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at a ceremony shared with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and actress Rita Moreno.