MTV unit is aimed at Latinos
Sept. 24, 2006
NEW YORK - The MTV Networks are starting a new channel aimed at young Latinos
called MTV Tr3s.
Tr3s, pronounced as the Spanish word for three, begins operation on Monday and
follows MTV, MTV2 and eight other related networks operating in the United
States. It will be seen on some digital cable systems, on the DirecTV satellite
system or various low-power broadcast stations. It'll be music-heavy at its
start, with programs featuring the music of Shakira, Sean Paul, Jeremias, the
Kumbia Kings and others.
"I look at it as a pop culture destination because these kids have not really
had their music or culture and what is really defining U.S. Latino culture on a
channel 24 hours a day," said Lucia Ballas-Traynor, MTV Tr3s senior vice
president and general manager. "MiTRL," a version of the MTV hit Total Request
Live, will be the network's signature music show and has already snared
commitments from Ricky Martin and Alejandro Sanz to debut their latest releases.
Latino versions of MTV hit shows My Super Sixteen and Pimp my Ride will be
created, transformed into Quiero Mis Quinces and Pimpeando.
Carlos Santos, a Los Angeles-based actor-comic, has signed on as the first MTV
Tr3s video jockey.
MTV, owned by Viacom Inc., is trying a new strategy of buying low-power
broadcast networks in a handful of such cities as San Antonio and Austin, Texas,
to reach viewers who don't have cable, Ballas-Traynor said.
She said the company is negotiating for an outlet that will give it broad
distribution in Los Angeles, which it won't have at the start.