Conglomerate strengthens ties with CCTV

MEXICO CITY — Mexican media conglom Televisa aims to produce its first content in Mandarin Chinese by year-end as it moves to gain a foothold in the growing Chinese market and deepen its relationship with government-operated China Central Television (CCTV).

Televisa’s corporate VP of TV Jose Baston said Thursday that Mexico’s top web would partner with Chinese producers to adapt telenovelas as well as formats like competish “Dancing for a Dream” for the Chinese market.

“This will create products that will work not only in China, but will be successful in other Asian markets,” Baston said.

Baston will lead a mission to China in June to close Televisa’s first co-production deal with Chinese producers and discuss the distribution of its pay TV channels in China. Baston will meet with officials from CCTV, Shanghai Media Group and Guangdong Television.

Televisa, the world’s largest producer of Spanish-language content, has had its telenovelas dubbed into more than 50 languages but the upcoming projects will use Chinese actors and film in Mandarin.

The co-production deal will allow Televisa to get around Chinese quotas that limit the amount of foreign productions domestic broadcasters can air. CCTV claims an aud of 1 billion people and is the dominant broadcaster in China’s $10 billion market.

Chinese ambassador to Mexico Yin Heng Min said Mexican telenovelas dealt with family, moral and social issues in a way the that Chinese could relate to. Televisa has sold four telenovelas to China in the past. Broadcasts of  “La madrastra” last year became the sixth-highest rated show in Shanghai.

Arturo Casares, an Asia expert, will rep Televisa in China in their new offices along with Francisco Ortiz, a Televisa exec.

In April, Televisa and CCTV signed a deal to distrib CCTV’s Spanish and French signal on Televisa’s Mexico City cable subsid Cablevision. Transmission begins next week.

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