Pappas Telecasting's KTNC Channel 42 is dropping its affiliation with the Azteca network today and will become an independent, though still a Spanish-language station. Azteca will now be broadcast on one of KBWB-TV Channel 20's digital multicast channels (20.4). As part of the transition to digital television, a single station can now provide multiple channels of separate programming simultaneously, free and over the air. Each separate program stream is called a multicast. The local Azteca feed will also be available on Comcast and DirecTV locally.
Meanwhile, new programs on Channel 42 will include the hit talk show "Marta Susana," the entertainment gossip show "Paparazzi," and novelas new to the United States such as "Dueña y Señora," said Fernando Acosta, vice president of Pappas Telecasting. Sports programming will feature up-to-the minute coverage of Mexican League Soccer.
Pappas, based in Visalia, is rolling out the new schedule on KTNC as well as former Azteca affiliates it owns in Reno, Omaha and Houston. By December, the company hopes to add 16 more markets. Pappas said in March it was dropping Azteca due to low ratings. Azteca, which is an arm of a major Mexican TV network, has also been a feud with NBC Universal over its attempts to expand its Telemundo network in Mexico. The Pappas family also owns San Francisco's newest radio station, 50,000-watt KTRB-AM 860.