TV Azteca takes stake in TV channel

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MEXICO CITY -- TV Azteca is taking a 10% stake in CNI-Canal 40, a Mexico City-based UHF channel.

Financial terms were not disclosed - and neither TV Azteca nor CNI would comment on that aspect - but the Mexican news agency Notimex reported that the broadcaster paid $7.5 million.

TV Azteca is taking over the ad sales and marketing of the channel, and the two companies will split the resulting cash flow 50-50. CNI-Canal 40 will now only program 2.5 hours per day, and only after 9:30pm. TV Azteca will fill up the rest with its own programming.

TV Azteca says it views canal 40 a way as a way to tap further into the Mexican TV ad market and could use it as a platform to create another national channel in addition to its existing two.

However, canal 40 is not well known in its main market of Mexico City, with an estimated market penetration of just 1%. It is available to another 1.6 million tele-homes via cable.

Canal 40 had been carrying the Spainlanguage news service of CBS Telenoticias, though it cut that daily programming down to five to six hours daily in late May. Given its new programming restrictions, CNI said it has drop CBS telenoticias entirely.

Copyright August 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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