Output to be increased to 500 hours a year

NBC Universal’s Spanish-language web Telemundo has bought a noncontrolling 40% stake in its Colombian partner RTI to launch RTI Prods. 

New company will produce TV content for export to the U.S. and worldwide.

Move dovetails with Telemundo’s drive to ramp up international production. It is the second-largest provider of Spanish-language content after Mexico’s Televisa.

“International sales comprise 10%-12% of Telemundo’s overall revenues,” said Telemundo prexy Don Browne. “Our aim is produce low-cost, high-quality content with a great backend.”

Web sells content to 140 countries, including China, Korea and Turkey.

These robust international sales have helped fund the production of Telemundo/RTI hits including “Sin senos no hay paraiso,”  “Zorro, la espada y la rosa” and “El cuerpo del deseo.”

RTI has had an exclusive output agreement with Telemundo since 2002, annually producing some 300 hours of programming, which is expected to rise to 500 hours a year, according to Telemundo Studios head Patricio Wills.

RTI is in pre-production on two of Telemundo’s most ambitious projects, the skein adaptation of Spanish bestseller “La reina del sur” and a remake, in partnership with Globo TV, of hit Brazilian telenovela “El clon.”

Domestically, Nielsen Media Research revealed that Telemundo is the fastest-growing broadcast network regardless of language in general market primetime for the 2008-09 season. From its small base, it was up 17% among adults 18-49 and 22% among adults 18-34.

Telemundo now has a 27% share of the U.S. Hispanic market.

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