XHAS-TDT, virtual channel 33 (UHF digital channel 34), is a Azteca America-affiliated television station serving the San Diego–Tijuana international metropolitan area that is licensed to Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. The station is 99.9%-owned by Mexican-based Televisora Alco, a 40%-owned subsidiary of station's operator Entravision Communications; XHAS is a sister station to MyNetworkTV affiliate XHDTV-TDT (channel 49), Univision affiliate KBNT-CD (channel 17) and UniMás affiliate KDTF-LD (channel 51). All four stations share studio facilities located on Ruffin Road in the Kearny Mesa section of San Diego, California, United States; XHAS maintains transmitter facilities on Mount San Antonio in Tijuana.
Until June 30, 2017, it was an affiliate of Telemundo.
While XHAS received its concession and began operations in the fall of 1981, its history stretched back to the late 1960s. In March 1968, Mario Rincón Espinosa, the head of Tele Nacional, S.A., requested and received a concession to build a UHF station in Tijuana. At this time, the callsign XHAS-TV and channel number 33 were assigned, with a visual effective radiated power of 105 kW. With the technical parameters set, Tele Nacional set out to build the station, and after some delays, it submitted the technical details in 1970. The next year, Rincón Espinosa was granted authorization to cut power in half; on several occasions in 1976, the SCT reached out to seek revised technical information and was not given a response. In July 1978, the Diario Oficial ran a notification warning that the SCT would begin an administrative proceeding to revoke the concession.
The station first signed on the air in the fall of 1981 after receiving a new concession that September. It originally operated as an affiliate of Televisa's Canal de las Estrellas for all but two hours a day, when it aired a limited slate of Mexican movies and independent programs.
In 1985, XHAS began to air a local newscast titled Síntesis. It subcontracted a company, Logovisión, to produce the program, which got viewers' attention for its independence — and Televisa's attention for allegedly disrespecting Mexican institutions. Síntesis was regarded as more unbiased in its coverage than Televisa's newscasts; it beat XEWT's news in local surveys and reported news of voting irregularities in the 1989 Baja California gubernatorial elections. Televisa retaliated by pulling programs from the XHAS local block, the only time when it could sell its own advertising. The station began taking programs from Imevisión to fill the local window instead. In September 1990, given the uneasy state of relations between station and network, XHAS switched its affiliation to the U.S.-based Spanish language network Telemundo; the Síntesis newscast moved from 10pm to 11pm as a result of the changes.
In December 1994, new management at XHAS fired the Síntesis team and built their own news department; after five months on local radio, Síntesis moved to XHJK and Televisión Azteca, where it remained for eight years. A weekday 6pm newscast launched in 2002.
XHAS carried 109 Spanish-language telecasts of the San Diego Padres in the 2005 season.
In January 2017, NBC announced that it was hiring people for KNSD with the intention of launching a new Telemundo O&O station in San Diego, replacing XHAS-TDT (whose affiliation expired on June 30, 2017). Following the loss of Telemundo programming, XHAS became an affiliate of Azteca America on July 1, 2017; the network, which had been affiliated with KZSD-LP, was carried on a subchannel of sister station XHDTV-TDT from March 15, 2017 until XHAS joined the network.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|33.1||1080i||16:9||AZTECA||Main XHAS-TDT programming / Azteca America|
While the United States completed its transition to full-power digital television on June 12, 2009, Mexico made the transition over a period of several years 4 years later, XHAS-TV discontinued its analog signal on May 28, 2013, as all television stations in the Tijuana metropolitan area were required to convert to digital-exclusive broadcasts on that date as part of a pilot program; the stations were later ordered to resume analog transmissions until July 18, 2013 due to concerns about the interaction of the shutoff with state elections.
XHAS-TV presently broadcasts 7 1/2 hours of local newscasts each week (with 90 minutes on weekdays); the station does not produce newscasts on Saturdays and Sundays. The station broadcasts an hour-long local newscast each weeknight at 5:00 p.m. and a half-hour newscast at 11:00 p.m. Previously, when the station was affiliated with Telemundo prior to joining NBC's KNSD, the station aired newscasts at 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. While it competes with the local newscasts on Univision-affiliated sister station KBNT-CD seen in the same timeslots, as the two stations share studio facilities in Entravision's building, XHAS focuses its newscasts more on issues affecting Tijuana (competing against locally programmed XEWT-TDT (channel 12)), while KBNT-CD focuses more on San Diego.
When Telemundo and XHAS parted ways, the newscasts on XHAS were renamed Noticias Ya Frontera (News Now Frontera), after the Noticias Ya series of news portals run by Entravision.