Brazilian network pacts with Portugal's SIC

Brazilian media juggernaut TV Globo has signed a two-year telenovela co-production deal with Portuguese commercial broadcaster SIC, a first for both players.

Pact dovetails with Globo’s bid to expand its international footprint. It has only co-produced two one-off telenovelas to date.

“It has been our aim to strengthen our position in Portugal where we have been a content provider for many years,” said Globo’s head of international sales Raphael Correa. Globo has had output deals with SIC for 18 years, the latest of which expires in 2012.

The agreement will yield two telenovelas, the first one titled “Caminho de felicidade” (Path to Happiness), based on an original treatment by Brazilian scribe Aguinaldo Silva. SIC plans to air the 150-episode skein during primetime in September.

SIC produces one to two in-house telenovelas and airs up to four Globo skeins daily.

The partnership will involve both companies in all stages of creation and production, including script, planning and definition of artistic elements.

Globo’s director of international production, Guilherme Bokel, will be associate executive producer. International sales proceeds will be shared 50/50 but Globo Intl. will handle sales.

Globo’s international expansion kicked off in 2008 when it agreed to co-produce a Spanish-language remake of its Moroccan-set telenovela “El clon” (The Clone) with NBC U’s Telemundo for U.S. Hispanic auds.

In April, it lured nearly 1.1 million viewers to Telemundo and the remake has sold to 13 countries in Latin America.

Globo TV Intl. holds the licensing rights for Europe, Africa and the Middle East while Telemundo Intl. handles the rest of the world.

Last year, Globo and Mexican web TV Azteca agreed to co-produce the Hispanic version of Globo’s “Mad Love,” which is set to bow in September in Mexico.

Correa said, “We are hoping to find the right partner and project to enter the U.S. market with an English-language co-production.”

Globo expects to close licensing deals with more than 100 territories by year’s end for its inhouse production “Caminho das Indias” (India — A Love Story). It has sold to 90 countries since NATPE.

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