TV Brasil follows in BBC’s path

Government creates public channel

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil’s federal government has created pubcaster TV Brasil, modeled on the U.K.’s BBC, and named journalist Tereza Cruvinel as its president and filmmaker Orlando Senna as general director.

The pubcaster was created by merging federal bodies Radiobras and the Assn. for Educational Communication Roquette-Pinto (ACERP), which together have three TV stations, a radio chain and a news agency, into Empresa Brasil de Comunicacao (EBC).

With $195 million in funds for 2008, TV Brasil is scheduled to begin broadcasting on Dec. 2, when commercial nets start digital transmissions in the capital, Sao Paula. It also will broadcast in Rio de Janeiro, the capital Brasilia and Sao Luis where Radiobras and ACERP have regional analog nets.

“We have purchased the equipment for the digital operation and are waiting for the delivery. We will make an effort to launch in Sao Paulo, simultaneously to the other three cities,” Senna told Variety.

From these four cities, Senna says TV Brasil will build a countrywide network by attracting existing state-controlled pubcasters, which in most cases are under-budgeted and have poor ratings.

Sergipe state’s Aperipe TV is already on board. The toppers of TV Cultura of Sao Paulo state have also expressed the desire to join TV Brasil, he adds.

TV Brasil’s initial programming will be similar to that of the existing pubcasters in Rio, Brasilia and Sao Luis with the addition of a newscast anchored from Brasilia.

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