Pappas ends Azteca deal


In a big blow to fledging Spanish-language TV network Azteca America, station owner Pappas Telecasting, which launched the network six years ago as a joint venture with Mexico's TV Azteca, said Monday that it is terminating its affiliation agreement with the net in all markets effective June 30.

That includes stations in Houston, San Francisco, Sacramento, Calif., Reno, Nev., Omaha, Neb., and Sioux City, Iowa. Azteca America's flagship station, the Pappas-owned KAZA-TV in Los Angeles, is under a local marketing agreement until June 2008, but Pappas said it might be able to end it sooner.

"During (the past six years), the Azteca America Network's programming has not developed and ratings have not grown as we had expected," Pappas chairman and CEO Harry Pappas said.