Azteca America offered a stern rebuttal to NBC Universal’s request to the FCC last night that Los Angeles-area station KAZA be denied a license. KAZA is owned by Pappas and operated by Azteca under a local marketing agreement. NBCU is alleging that TV Azteca, the Mexican-owned parent of Azteca America, has operating control of KAZA--far beyond the 33% investment limit for foreign investors.
Azteca and Telemundo, which is owned by NBCU, have battled intensely for Spanish-speaking viewers, at times ending up in court.
Luis Echarte, chairman of Azteca America, insists their local marketing agreement is legitimate, and calls NBCU’s allegations “ridiculous.” “It’s obviously a ploy to damage our image, given our strong performance in the U.S.,” he says. “KAZA is owned by Pappas. We’ve been paying rent to Pappas to operate the station for three years.”