'Papito in Love'

Viacom pumps cash into local production for new model

Viacom has relaunched MTV Brasil on pay-TV tiers available to about 12 million of Brazil’s approximately 17 million pay-TV subscribers, and at the same time has unleashed ambitious plans for the new entity, which leans on local production while targeting millennials.

The new direction comes after Viacom and Brazilian media group Abril ended a 23-year-long brand-licensing partnership in free-to-air MTV Brasil as a niche channel. While still appealing to the youth demo, Viacom will increase its investment in local programming, producing 350 hours of Portuguese-language series in Brazil with local talent over the next year.

“By taking full creative and operational control of MTV, we’re strengthening our portfolio in Brazil and deepening our presence in this priority market,” maintained Robert Bakish, president of Viacom Intl. Media Networks.

Viacom has commissioned projects from local indie shingles, and doubled the size of its staff to about 120 to fulfill the needs of the new MTV Brasil and the company’s other pay-TV nets in the country.

Programming includes daily talkshow “Coletivation,” a tabmag-style mix of humor and pop-culture news hosted by singer-actor Fiuk and comedian Patrick Maia, produced by the local arm of U.S.-based Eyeworks. Rio-based Indiana produces unscripted series “Papito in Love” (pictured), starring rock icon Supla, the son of Brazil’s Minister of Culture Marta Suplicy and Sen. Eduardo Suplicy. Also on deck are sitcom “Copa do Caos,” focusing on two extreme soccer fans; and adult-animated comedy “Familia do Zaralho.”

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