Telenovelas come to U.S. on disc

HOLLYWOOD — Miami-based sales company and distrib Venevision Intl. plans to launch DVD versions of its popular telenovelas in the U.S.

First off the assembly line will likely be top-rated Venevision soap “Girasoles Para Lucia,” which aired on leading U.S. Hispanic network Univision. Venevision, a unit of Venezuelan conglom the Cisneros Group, is a shareholder and major supplier of content to Univision.

Mexico’s Televisa, another shareholder and prime supplier of content to Univision, has seen some of its telenovelas released on DVD by Univision. With the exception of one title, “El chavo del ocho,” which sold 500,000 copies, sales were slow.

Venevision Intl. has theatrically released some Latino titles in select cities with mixed results.

In June, it signed a deal with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment to jointly release 10 Latino films on DVD and VHS as part of the studio’s Fox En Espanol initiative.

Venevision Intl. has earmarked an annual budget of up to $12 million for the promotion of its titles on Hispanic television.

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