In spite of the world economic crisis, Brazil’s number two net TV Record is investing 200 million reais ($100 million) to expand its production center Recnov (Record Novelas), located on the outskirts of Rio.
TV Record is building two modern studios in Recnov, on top of the existing five, with set warehouses, administrative buildings and a restaurant. Already under way, construction is due to wrap by the end of 2009.
The expansion will allow the net to increase its fiction production. According to TV Record’s communications manager Ricardo Frota, the net plans to start producing series, as well as one more telenovela. The company already makes and airs two telenovelas. The third telenovela will be coproduced in Rio with Mexico’s giant Televisa, as part of a recently inked five-year deal.
TV Record has invested heavily since 2004, which allowed it to grab the audience ranking second position from SBT last year. The company’s ultimate goal is to challenge the ranking leader, TV Globo.
Critics of TV Record said the net has the financial backing of the Universal Church of God’s Kingdom, a fundamentalist protestant Brazilian church with international presence. TV Record is in fact owned by leaders of that church. But net’s execs said the only coin they receive from the church is for the sale of air time for religious programming in the early hours of the morning, a common practice in Brazil.