MegaTV, LATV Kick Off Hispanic Upfront Season

Emerging Hispanic networks Mega TV and youth-oriented LATV hosted their first upfront presentations in New York City on April 24 and May 1, respectively, promising advertisers a slate of new programming ranging from high-definition telenovelas to talent-search competitions, reality TV and plenty of product placement opportunities.

During a vampire-themed event at Manhattan’s Guastavino’s, Mega TV introduced marketers and agencies with a lineup of original content, including Gabriel, a high-definition miniseries starring Latin singer Chayanne and filmed on location in Miami, Puerto Rico and Italy. Other programming highlights include La Descarga, a Sunday night jam session featuring Cuba-born singer Albita, and women-targeted Las Divas de la Tarde, scheduled to air 2009. Mega TV also announced the expansion of its nightly news program Mega News by joining forces with News Corp. as an affiliate of the Fox News Edge Service.

Mega TV also announced a programming distribution agreement with WSJU in Puerto Rico, a full-power television facility that is carried on all of the cable and satellite providers, including Liberty, Choice, One Link and Dish Network throughout Puerto Rico. Mega is also distributed island-wide via DirecTV.

For its part, LATV hosted a May 1 event, also in Manhattan, to present not only its growing distribution via multicasting but also the network’s entry to the syndication business through newly acquired American Latino TV. More important, the network’s New York event came on the heels of its recently inked deal with Tribune Broadcasting, which will air LATV on the digital channels of The CW affiliates in New York, Chicago and Dallas.

LATV, which currently reaches 32 million households, has grown its affiliate roster from five stations nationwide to 33, including five stations from Post-Newsweek, which is an investor in the network.