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KNOXVILLE — Nashville’s new local Spanish-language television station is serving an emerging market, which is what broadcasters have always done, a University of Tennessee communications professor says.

The spread of Spanish-language media has been rapid in the past couple of years due to a dramatic increase in the Hispanic population nationally and here in Tennessee, Dr. Barbara Moore said.

“Businesses are realizing that these are people with money in their pockets who will go out and buy products, so if you advertise to them, you can make some money,” Moore said. “Anytime you have advertisers interested, then you’ve got people with programming.”

The company that owns the station, Solo Nashville, is set to begin broadcasting Feb. 1, with local news and information for the Hispanic population.

“My guess is that the station won’t do a whole lot of local news, but they will reach an audience that hasn’t been covered by the local media very much,” Moore said. “They will have a very enthusiastic audience who watches in large numbers to see their own media and news coverage.

“This is a special service the television station can provide that no one else can.”

Federal census figures show Nashville’s Hispanic population growing more than 10 percent in the last two years.