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Telenovelas Available Online

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NEW YORK Tvext, a new online television channel, is offering popular South American telenovelas in downloadable format for viewing on a computer.

The first 20 episodes of Argentine novela Amor en Custodia and Colombian-produced Amor a Mil are now offered in their entirety by Tvext. The shows have completed their runs in Latin America, but were so popular in the region that there is still a demand for them among viewers in the U.S., who either watched them or had heard about them from relatives and friends in South America, said George-Ann Rosenberg, a representative at the Washington, D.C.-based company.

Tvext plans to add more telenovelas to its future lineup, with an emphasis on shows not televised in the U.S. The network's software is free to download and the service includes free and fee-based programming. Video downloads can be viewed instantly or saved for later viewing on a user's computer.

"You can download them and watch them anywhere, and aren't confined to the eight to 10 traditional novela hours on network television," said Rosenberg.

The service can be downloaded for $10 for 10 to 15 hours of Tvext content, based on a point system, or customers can purchase a Tvext Pass for $7.85 that provides the same amount of content and automatically replenishes the account balance as points are used up.

Tvext, which is owned by Broadband Television Network Corp., is currently running an ad campaign on various Internet portals and will expand its advertising and marketing efforts this year. The company is offering free programming points to allow visitors to the site to sample the paid content, according to the company.

"It's fun and interesting stuff you can't find when you scroll through 600 cable stations," Rosenberg said.