The station was set up in the early 1980s in Valledupar, Colombia and was created by a local entrepreneur named Jose Jorge Dangond. It started as a pirate TV station and as a personal hobby with aficionado equipment brought from the United States, transmitting American movies and local vallenato musical groups, including first versions of the Vallenato Legend Festival. Dangond's family and friends in Valledupar nicknamed it Televallenato or Rope TV, because all the antennae and equipment were attached with ropes onto one of the highest buildings in the city.