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Spanish on your TV

July 2, 2010 2 Comments »

SAP, besides being a well-known ERP solution, stands for Secondary Audio Program. Every TV set that has been purchased in the last 10 years has this feature. It is commonly used in the U.S. to provide Spanish-language audio for English-language television programs.

However, not all TV programs are broadcast with SAP. It is a shame to see that few stations take advantage of this bilingual technology. Technical limitations, economic factors, marketing myopia and lack of interest from broadcasting stations have limited the capacity of many TV networks.

But despite these limitations, some have taken advantage of the technology. For example, ABC broadcasts its evening news and Monday night football games in Spanish in most major cities. And HBO also includes a Spanish audio option with some movies and original programming. Recently, it has even been promoting a separate all-Spanish network. Overall the use of Spanish-language SAP is limited mostly to areas with high populations of Spanish speakers.

Unfortunately, most TV listings don’t show which programs have a Spanish audio option. The easiest way to find out if a program is using SAP is by pressing a button labeled “SAP,” “bilingual,” “audio” or something similar on your remote control. If a station isn’t using SAP, which is the majority of the cases, you won’t notice any difference in operation.

Perhaps in a few years Spanish SAP will be more available, since the advance of digital technology will provide more flexibility for broadcasters. Until then, however, Spanish-language TV is likely to remain hard to find; the exception being stations devoted exclusively to the Spanish language.

Below are some cities in the U.S. where SAP is available:

1. Los Angeles, KABC-7

2. New York, WABC-7

3. San Francisco, KGO-7

4. Chicago, WLS-7

5. Houston, KTRK-13

6. San Antonio, KSAT-12

7. Dallas, WFAA-8

8. Phoenix, KNXV-15

9. San Diego, KGTV-10

10. Albuquerque, KOAT-7

11. El Paso, KVIA-7

12. Fresno, KFSN-30

13. Sacramento, KXTV-10

14. Denver, KMGH-7

15. Philadelphia, WPVI-6

16. Washington D.C., WJLA-7

17. Tampa-St. Petersburg, WFTS-28

18. Tucson, KGUN-9

19. Austin, KVUE-24

20. Boston, WCVB-5

21. Orlando, WFTV-9

22. Las Vegas, KTNV-13

23. Seattle, KOMO-4

24. Bakersfield, KERO-23

25. Atlanta, WSB-2

26. Santa Barbara, KEYT-3

27. Portland, OR, KATU-2

28. Lubbock, KAMC-28

29. Providence/New Bedford, WLNE-6

30. Raleigh-Durham, WTVD-11

31. Battle Creek, WOTV-41

32. Toledo, WTVG-13

33. Charlotte, WSOC-9

34. Flint, WJRT-12

35. Tulsa, KTUL-8

36. Lansing, WLAJ-53

37. Louisville, WHAS-11

38. Jonesboro, KAIT-8

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