Cable News Network announced Tuesday that it has begun selling its Atlanta-produced Spanish-language newscast south of the border.
Nine stations and cable broadcasters in seven Central and South American countries have started to air "Noticiero Telemundo-CNN," a half-hour news show that debuted May 30 in the United States on the Telemundo network's five owner-operated stations and 18 affiliates.
Some of the broadcasters carrying CNN's "Noticiero" are Televisora de Costa Rica in San Jose; Telecable Nacional in the Dominican Republic, a cable broadcaster in Santo Domingo; Radio Television in Guatemala City; Corp. Panamena de Radiodifusion in Panama City, and Omnivision in Caracas, Venezuela.
TV Hoy in Colombia and Telemundo affiliate WKAQ in San Juan, Puerto Rico, are negotiating for CNN's Spanish-language newscast, network officials said.
CNN officials noted that the Turner Broadcasting System's latest move southward should not come as a great surprise. CNN's English-language news show is presently seen in 61 countries throughout the world, including the Caribbean and Latin America.
"Being a global network imposes on us the responsibility to bring the world's viewers quality news programming that is understandable to them," said Russ Barry, Turner Programming Services president. "The success of our first non-English news programming, in both the U.S. and Latin America, in only one month's time is notable."
Weeks before CNN completed negotiations earlier this year to produce a national news show for Telemundo (one of two U.S.-based and owned Spanish-language networks), some industry observers had already begun to predict that Turner would sell the show in Latin America. At the time, CNN officials declined to say whether they would use an agreement with Telemundo to help subsidize a further penetration of Latin America.
This week, however, a network spokesman acknowledged that the move makes sense because the initial cost of producing the show is already being paid by Telemundo, which retains the sole rights to the news program's U.S. distribution.
"We were confident CNN's first Spanish news programming would be popular in Latin America," said Sidney Pike, whose CNN International Special Projects unit is marketing the news show outside the United States. "But we are truly gratified to find such a positive response so soon after the program's premiere."
"Noticiero Telemundo-CNN" is among the latest of this year's crop of domestically produced Spanish-language news and entertainment programs which have begun to blur the boundaries between English- and Spanish-language television.
On Friday, MTV will debut the first Spanish-language version of its rock 'n' roll video show for Telemundo. Last Friday, Univision, Telemundo's larger competitor, aired "Tu Musica" (Your Music), a half-hour, afternoon rock video show produced by Luca Bentivoglio Productions in Los Angeles. Both of these U.S. programs are being syndicated in Latin America.