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Argentine indie sells reality rights

Soccer format, modeling talent contest planned

BUENOS AIRES — Argentine indie production company Cuatro Cabezas is capitalizing on its two reality formats: soccer and modeling.

It has sold the rights to soccer format “Camino a la gloria” (The Road to Glory) in France, and is in talks with other overseas buyers. Meanwhile, it is prepping modeling talent contest “Super M,” pitting Argentine and Chilean contestants against each other.

French production company Coyote Conseil has optioned “Camino,” Cuatro Cabezas said, without disclosing on what channel it would air.

The program follows 20 teenagers as they find out what it takes to play professional soccer and vie for the chance to play for a pro club.

In November, production company Magnolia snapped up the format for soccer-mad Italy, where it is prepping “Camino” for a 2003 bow on an undisclosed channel.

Cuatro Cabezas is in negotiations to sell rights in Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Sweden.

“Camino” was a big hit in Argentina, where it aired on second-ranked Artear-Canal 13, a unit of local media conglom Grupo Clarin.

“Super M” will air Thursdays at 10 p.m. in Argentina on Artear-Canal 13, beginning Jan. 9.

The Chilean broadcasting partner has not yet been determined, but is expected to be Claxson Interactive Group’s Chilevision or Cristalerias de Chile’s Megavision.

The program follows 24 youngsters (15-to-23-year-olds) for three months as they learn the ins and outs of being a professional model and compete for a new car, a one-year contract with a local modeling agency and a week of castings abroad.

In the first three episodes, contestants from both countries will compete separately. In the past 10 episodes, the Argentines and Chileans will compete side-by-side in Buenos Aires.

The addition of another country is a twist on the original “Super M” format, which aired on Artear-Canal 13 at the start of 2002.

This variation is part of a trend in Argentina, as producers try to generate fresh interest as the reality format ages, said Pablo Maetakeda, media planning manager at EPM, a media-buying firm.

Cuatro Cabezas has received 5,000 applications in Argentina, more than the first series’ 4,000. In Chile, where the casting is taking place only in Santiago, the production company has received 2,000 applications.

The first “Super M” averaged a 14 rating/24 share, peaking with a 24 rating/46 share. Cuatro Cabezas has sold the rights to “Super M” in Italy and Romania to Spain’s Europroducciones, and is in talks with buyers in Chile, Spain and Venezuela.

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