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The Mexicanal Network taps into L.A. market

March 23, 2010 |  5:03 pm

Flipping channels hoping to find highlights of the Mexican rodeo? Want to spend a Sunday evening watching a movie from the golden era of Mexican cinema? Look no further.

The Mexicanal Network made its Los Angeles debut early last month on KBEH (digital channel 24.1/virtual channel 63.3), an MTV Tr3s affiliate that reaches roughly 700,000 Latino households in the Los Angeles television market.

It’s part of the network’s continued distribution expansion in California, which also includes San Diego (K5OLL) and Palm Springs (KMIR), as well as additional cable distribution with Comcast in San Francisco.

“L.A. is, needless to say, the most important Hispanic market in the United States,” said Mexicanal President Luis Torres-Bohl. “It took us a while to get here, but good things take a while.”

Mexicanal, a joint venture of Castalia Communications and Cablecom, is a 24-hour Spanish-language channel targeting Mexicans living in the U.S. Launched in 2005, it reaches nearly 5 million Latino homes with a blend of multi-platform distribution through DirecTV, Comcast systems in several markets and digital multicasting.

Using the tagline "Tu Canal Regional," the network’s content includes news, sports and culturally significant programs from throughout Mexico, including, Jalisco, Aguascalientes, Oaxaca and other regions that represent the hometowns of the majority of U.S.-based Mexican immigrants. In the last two years, it has introduced kids series, cooking shows and music content into its programming lineup.

“What makes this channel unique is it brings backs a historical and cultural connection to all those Mexicans — recent migrants and second generations — living here,” Torres-Bohl said. “It’s very important to know where you come from so you can get to where you’re going.”

As for where he hopes the network is going, Torres-Bohl said the goal is to expand to other heavily Latino markets, including New York and Florida, where the network is not yet available through cable or multicast.

— Yvonne Villarreal