BBC showcase set for Latin America

'Planet Earth' acquired by Canal 12, Telefuturo

RIO DE JANEIRO For the fifth year, BBC Worldwide showcased its wares for Latin America last week with some success.

Multiple Emmy-winner, 11-part series “Planet Earth,” a BBC/Discovery/NHK co-production was snapped up by El Salvador’s Canal 12 Televicentro and Paraguay’s Telefuturo.

The series, which has previously been sold to nets in other 12 countries in the region, is the most successful natural history BBC title in Latin America.

Susanna Pollack, BBC Worldwide’s senior VP of TV sales, co-production and children’s, says the Beeb’s commercial arm sold 4,000 hours of programming to Latin American companies in 2007, and expects to sell still more this year. About 30,000 hours of programming were available for the 100 buyers from 15 Latin American countries at the Sept. 8-10 bazaar. “The economies are growing here in Latin America,” says Steve Macallister, BBC Worldwide’s managing director of global TV sales. “The fact that we only have a showcase in Latin America, other than the one in the U.K., absolutely underscores how important this market is to us.”

While Beeb execs refused to comment on whether prices had gone up or down, they were sufficiently pleased with events to say the showcase will return next year.

The showcase is Latin America’s only TV market hosted by a single distributor.

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