Estrella has been in the works for at least two years, and  claims to have 55 hours of original programming ready to launch, and also claim to have agreements to reach 70% of US Hispanic homes.  These numbers may be subject to debate, but Estrella's strategy is clear:  to target Mexican Americans just as market leader Univision has been doing for years. Estrella TV, expected to begin broadcasting sometime in the second or third quarter of this year.

Estrella faces an uphill battle for distribution and for space on cable and satellite systems.  For example digital sub-channels, which will be part of the individual stations' multicast strategy.  But the audience for these digital sub-channels will be initially very small.

Any new network faces an uphill battle in this heavily competitive fragmented environment.  Estrella will join Azteca America and LATV, two services already in operation, as competitors trying to pull share from Telemundo and Univision.  It certainly won't be easy, but it does provide yet another indicator of the potential growth and opportunities that lie in the Spanish language media area.

Source: GL Group

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