Mas! snags Dodge

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Arizona dodge dealers Association is the first regional advertiser on Mas! Arizona, a Spanish-language 24-hour news channel in the Phoenix market.

The channel is the first Spanish-language cable news, information and sports channel in the region. It launched in October through a partnership between TV station group cable operator Cox Communications and A.H. Belo Corp. It follows the partners' 4-year-old English-language Arizona News-Channel, which takes rebroadcast programming from Belo's independent station KTVK. The channel reaches 465,000 Cox subscribers.

TOP 10 IN POPULATION

Maricopa County [which includes Phoenix] has the 10th largest Hispanic community in the country, said Sue Schwartz, VP-general manager of KTVK and sister station, KASW, a WB affiliate. About "81% of Arizona's Hispanic households are in Maricopa County," she said.

The Phoenix market numbers 783,000 Hispanics, according to Strategy Research Corp. About 90% of that population is of Mexican origin. The group has an average of 3.6 people per household and a mean household income of $40,107.

Ms. Schwartz said that Mas! gears its news, community affairs, special events and sports programming to viewers of Mexican descent and second-generation bilingual residents. The channel aims to provide the same service for Hispanic viewers as its KTVK does for the general market.

The first in a series of 30-second Spanish promos for Mas! are running on Univision Communications cable network, Galavision. Out-of-home advertising and radio commercials on the six local Hispanic stations will break in March or April and run through yearend, Ms. Schwartz said.

SUNS SCHEDULE BOUGHT

In addition to local advertisers, so far, Cox-owned CableRep Arizona has added a Dodge dealers schedule for 20 Phoenix Suns basketball games broadcast in Spanish. The ad package includes two 30-second commercials per game and an outdoor board.

"Dodge has a big sponsorship package with the Suns," said Janice Alvarado, broadcast supervisor for BBDO West, Los Angeles, which handled the Dodge dealers buy. "This is something different to add to our mix because it's on a new Spanish cable network."

MOVIES TARGETED

The general-market Dodge dealer package includes radio, TV and signage at the America West Arena, where the team plays.

Fran Mallace, VP-general manager at CableRep, said the channel wants to go after "all the national general market product categories, with a major push for movie business this year." The channel is building its sports offerings. After the Suns' season, Mas! will cablecast Arizona Diamondbacks' baseball.

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