Exclusive pact includes sports, miniseries, 'Net projects

RIO DE JANEIRO — In a major international push, Brazilian TV giant TV Globo and top Portuguese broadcaster SIC have inked a far-ranging, five-year, exclusive agreement covering acquisition, co-production and Internet development.

Deal was signed by TV Globo owner Roberto Marinho and SIC chairman Francisco Pinto Balsemao. TV Globo already holds 15% in SIC, which has 48% TV market share in Portugal.

SIC signed an output deal for Globo’s telenovelas in 1997, but the new accord goes further: SIC now extends its output deal for Portugal on Globo product to include sports as well as miniseries and other fiction entertainment.

And Globo TV has committed to an output deal for Brazil on SIC product. Globo and SIC will also coordinate their Internet growth.

The two partners will team on the production of movies, TV and series beginning with a 48-episode adaptation of “The Maias,” a novel from 19th century writer Eca de Queiros.

The five-year accord represents a thrust by both partners to seek new revenue sources outside the huge — but sometimes volatile — Brazilian market and the limited, if increasingly rich, domestic market in Portugal.

Launched in 1992, SIC posted before-tax profits of 6.2 billion escudo ($28 million) off revenues of some $245 million in 1999.

Doorway to Europe

“It’s a solid marriage,” Marise Caetano, sales manager at TV Globo’s Intl. Division, said. “Thanks to the same language, we have developed a strong partnership with SIC. Portugal has grown very fast over the past years. SIC’s our door to the EU.”

“Apart from select local product, Globo product is our chief ratings topper,” said Manuel Fonseca, SIC’s deputy programming director.

Deal could pave the way for TV Globo to co-produce some movies or TV series from high-flying Madrid-based outfit Morena Films. Signaling increasingly aggressive international ambitions, SIC took a 10% stake in Morena in May.

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