DirecTV Gives HITN a Lift

DirecTV Inc. is adding Hispanic public-television network HITN-TV to its lineup Aug. 15, according to officials.

The Hispanic Information & Telecommunications Network Inc. will be available on DirecTV’s “Para Todos” tier, and to all of the direct-broadcast satellite’s subscribers with an 18-by-20-inch multi-satellite dish. The Spanish-language service will be carried on channel 438.

This brings HITN’s distribution to 12.5 million subscribers, up from roughly 10 million homes.

HITN already had affiliation agreements and carriage with Time Warner Cable and EchoStar Communications Corp.’s Dish Network, according to chief operating officer Richard Taub. Time Warner carries the programming in New York City and will be launching it in Kansas City on Aug. 1, Taub said.

The programming service is also close to announcing carriage deals with two other MSOs.

HITN’s program schedule includes community and cultural affairs, immigration updates, personal finance advice, health news, original documentaries and the arts.

The DirecTV pact is especially important in HITN’s quest to serve pan-Latino audiences, according to Taub. “We say education is universal, so it doesn’t matter where you’re from, you can come from Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia, Chile, it doesn’t matter. Then we also cover cultural events, and in that sense we have things that are Mexican in flavor, or Puerto Rican or from the Dominican Republic. … Really, the significance of DirecTV is we have automatically a nationwide 2.5 million [subscribers].”

Para Todos offers more than 50 Spanish-language channels. DirecTV called HITN “a welcome addition to our programming lineup both as a public-interest channel and as a network that will enhance the value of our programming for DirecTV’s Spanish-language customers.”