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DirecTV to Launch Mexican Net

DirecTV Inc. is launching an exclusive new Spanish-language channel, Mexicanal, which will offer Mexican programming from regions outside of Mexico City in the country’s heartland, officials said Wednesday.

The new service -- being created by the satellite provider in association with Castalia Communications and Mexican MSO Cablecom -- will only be available on DirecTV’s “Para Todos Hispanic” tier. It debuts in August.

Citing the need for local and regional programming among the vast majority of Mexicans in the United States, DirecTV has tried to pick the best of such fare from public broadcasters, independent producers and local-access stations from more than six regions across Mexico, according to the satellite provider.

The network will initially feature programming from Guanajuato, Jalisco, Estado de Mexico, Neuvo Leon and San Luis Potosi.

“We believe Mexicanal represents the most important channel to be added to the Hispanic-television landscape in the past five years,” DirecTV senior director of marketing Mark Ryan said in a prepared statement.

“So much of the programming that Mexicans living in the United States see is from networks that focus coverage on news and events from Mexico City, leaving the 95% of Mexicans from areas outside of the capitol city unserved,” he added.

Ryan continued, “We’re correcting the imbalance by introducing a rich tapestry of regional programming that will not only inform viewers of the news and events that happen in their town, city or region of origin, but also rekindle an emotional connection for viewers who grew up with this programming.”