Earth Foundation

Stewards of the Land, Sea and Native Cultures

HAWAII HISPANICS DENIED ACCESS

On Oceanic Cable to Hawaii’s only Spanish Language TV station

THE FACTS

We want to turn you on to an important story happening in Hawaii — about one of the gutsiest little TV stations in Hawaii and the United States. This courageous, little Honolulu TV station is fighting an eleven year battle with Time Warner Cable in Hawaii and nationally to have this station’s excellent Spanish language television programming be put on its on own “Digital Basic” cable channel in Honolulu and statewide. Hawaii’s Hispanics love the programming, including national and local shows, but can only get it via the airwaves. But having no cable broadcasting of this solid, little TV station stops many Hispanics from seeing this Spanish language television programming they so desire.

We need your help. This TV station is involved in a native culture problem in Hawaii that is seriously affecting Hawaii’s large Hispanic population. In these modern times Hispanics in Hawaii and America depend on Spanish language TELEVISION to help preserve their culture. Hispanics have played a prominent role in Hawaii for 220 years and are almost NINE PERCENT of the state’s population. The number one, Spanish language, national television programming is Univision Television Network — and Hawaii’s Hispanics love watching Univision. Hispanics prefer watching Univision by a 3 to 1 margin over the nearest Spanish language television competitor Telemundo. Since March 2000 this gutsy, independently locally owned, little Honolulu TV station has been nonstop, reliably broadcasting Spanish language Univision programming 24 hours a day, 365 days a year through the airwaves to Honolulu’s Hispanics for eleven years.  The TV station is owned by a small group of local businessmen.  This small local group has made a huge investment and has broadcast to Oahu 24/7 the great Spanish Univision programming. This provides an important public service worth many millions to Hawaii’s Hispanic community. Univision can also be received via satellite across Hawaii, but the TV station is not involved. And satellite is not enough to reach the Hispanics because many of them subscribe to cable TV. What really hurts is this Univision Hawaii TV station is not being allowed by the cable company to broadcast on “Digital Basic” cable on Oceanic Time Warner Cable in Oahu and throughout the state. Having no cable broadcasting stops many Hispanics from seeing the Univision television programming they so desire. So the Spanish language TV station Univision Hawaii is running an independent, statewide campaign with Hawaii’s Hispanic community.  And your help is needed.

Hawaii’s Hispanics are in the process of Uniting and Standing Up for Recognition.  A mass rally of Hawaii’s Hispanics took place at the State Capitol on May 4th. It was a rally demanding that Oceanic Time Warner Cable put Hawaii’s only Spanish language TV station and its beloved Spanish programming on “Digital Basic” cable statewide. The State Capitol rally was a great event with Salsa music and dancing, great speakers, Latino singers, and a healthy turnout of supporters.

If the Honolulu Spanish language TV station had its own channel on Oceanic Cable, then Univision Hawaii could:

  • Create locally-produced Spanish TV news broadcasts
  • Create local programming, content, commercials, and advertising.
  • Provide jobs and internships for individuals interested in Spanish-language television
  • Train Hawaii’s motivated Hispanic youth and adults in professional skills for careers in Hispanic television broadcasting.

Oceanic Cable doesn’t think Hawaii has enough Hispanics to justify having their own cable channel. That doesn’t make sense. Hispanics are one of the largest ethnic groups in the state. The 2010 U.S. Census finds Hawaii’s Hispanic population in the last decade increased a stunning 38% to 120,842 Hispanics who are 9% of the state’s population. The 2010 U.S. Census figure  does not include: the thousands of Hispanics and their family members stationed in Hawaii in the military, the many Hispanic foreign students studying in Hawaii, and the many undocumented Hispanics living in Hawaii. Realistically, there are closer to 160,000 Hispanics in the state. Also about 12,000 non-Hispanics study Spanish in schools and colleges in Hawaii and they will watch Univision to better learn their Spanish. Spanish is the most taught language in Hawaii after English.

The Chinese have their own television programming on Oceanic Cable, and so do the Koreans. Why don’t the Hispanics? Our Spanish language Univision TV programming is the number one choice of Hispanics in Hawaii and America. Hawaii Hispanics waited 15 years for Univision Spanish TV programming to be broadcast in Hawaii. Our television station brought that service to Hawaii and began broadcasting Univision programming 24/7 in March 2000 to an exuberantly happy Hispanic population in Oahu.

In 2008 Hawaiian Telcom knew how fantastic Hawaii’s rapidly growing Hispanic market was. So Hawaiian Tel signed a multi year contract with our station for cable broadcasting of our station’s Hispanic programming at no cost whatsoever to our station, 24 hours a day, with our own “Basic” cable channel at no cost, and free delivery of our station’s Spanish programming to Oahu and eventually statewide on their cable television system. Before their bankruptcy, the Hawaiian Tel cable deal proved that the Honolulu Spanish language TV station’s providing of quality television programming on cable TV is a highly attractive financial opportunity to Hawaiian Tel.  Hawaiian Tel has been granted their cable franchise and is now a major competitor to Oceanic Cable.

It is time to value the huge contribution that Hispanics have given Hawaii in the last 220 years. Hispanics were the first cowboys in Hawaii, and they trained our Native Hawaiians to become cowboys known as “paniolos” in Hawaii. Hawaii had the first cowboys in the United States fifty years before Texas. Hispanics brought the first horses and cattle to Hawaii. Hispanics brought the first string instruments to Hawaii, similar to the ukulele.

Hawaii’s Hispanics deserve to have their own Honolulu Hispanic television station on Oceanic’s “Digital Basic” cable service.  

Aloha and THANK YOU for supporting this worthy cause of media to help support Hispanic native culture in Hawaii.

C.T. Ryder
President & General Manager
Univision Hawaii

For more information contact:
Herman H. Stern, Vice President
Univision Hawaii   55 South Kukui Street   Suite D-2708   Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Email: hermahstern@msn.com / Tel: 808-531-9930