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NBCU Opposes Pappas License Renewal

Dec 1, 2006  •  Post A Comment

NBC Universal is taking the unusual step of objecting to the license renewal of Pappas Telecasting Co.’s Los Angeles area station KAZA-TV with a shot across of bow of Hispanic programming producer TV Azteca, which has a local marketing agreement with the station.

In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, NBC Universal suggested the station’s license shouldn’t be renewed because TV Azteca and its principals “lack the character qualifications to hold an interest in a U.S. broadcast licensee.”

Peter Pappas, executive VP of Pappas, said NBC Universal’s objection is invalid because his company owns and oversees the station. The local marketing agreement with TV Azteca, entered into in 2003 ending in June 2008, doesn’t give Azteca control of the station, he said.

In local marketing agreements, an outside company often provides programming and sells advertising for a station owned by someone else.

“The assertion that we have somehow ceded operational control to the network is totally groundless,” he said, suggesting that the filing is part of an increasingly bitter battle between NBC Universal’s Telemundo and its Hispanic rivals.

Azteca and NBC Universal have crossed swords before. In 2005, TV Azteca sought to block Telemundo and NBC Universal from taking an interest in a Mexican TV station.