Brazilian TV giant innovates in services, sales, shows
On the first day of trading at Miami’s NATPE confab Monday, for its traditional breakfast screening, Globo decked out the Glimmer Ballroom in Fontainebleau Hotel’s Versailles Tower to resemble a soccer pitch. A mock stadium players’ entry tunnel lead onto a grass-covered pitch, backed up by the sound and images of chanting fans.
With the world’s eyes turning towards Brazil, Globo confirmed NewSource Globo would offer both TV content and broadcast facilities for June’s FIFA World Cup soccer tourney, part of a diversified offer of programs and services for different companies and audiences around the world.
Brazil’s ratings, contents leader, Globo, whose holding company Organizacoes Globo posted R$2.9 billion($1.2 billion) profits off $5.25 billion revenues in 2012, also revealed it is moving into feature film sales, and unveiled a 2014 sale slate that also runs the gamut of five new telenovelas, led by Intl. Emmy-winning “Side by Side,” to five new miniseries, including “Xingu,” produced by Fernando Meirelles (“City of God”) and “Bald Mountain,” helmed by Heitor Dhalia (“Gone,” “Adrift”).
Brazil’s official World Cup broadcaster, Globo will employ 40 cameras and 600 sports journalism professionals, headed by legendary center forward Ronaldo Nazario, spread between the World Cup’s 12 host cities.
Launched last June for Brazil’s Confederations Cup, where it catered to 14 broadcasters from 12 countries, NewSource Globo offered live stand-up positions, one facing Rio’s Maracana stadium, where the World Cup final will be played, a beach kiosk on Copacabana, and a glass studio above Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, one of Rio de Janeiro’s inner lakes.
CBS, NBC, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera and Televisa used NewSource facilities to cover 2013’s Pope-attended World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.
“NewSource is about two things. One is greater demand for Brazilian news coverage with the Pope’s visit, the World Cup, soccer events, and 2016 Olympics. People around the world want to understand Brazil better. That demands an in-depth approach,” said Raphael Correa, exec director of Globo’s international business.
“Also, Globo has the resources – technical, news, talent, local knowledge – to understand Brazil like nobody else, meeting this demand.”
Bowing its film offer, Globo will introduce buyers to three co-productions from its film arm, Globo Filmes: “Time and the Wind,” a late nineteenth century family dynasty face-off saga, and the two parts of Roberto Santucci’s “Till Luck Do Us Part,” part of a Brazilian comedy blockbuster surge now driving cinema attendance in Brazil to modern heights.
With a cameo by Jerry Lewis, “Till Luck Do Us Part 2,” – in which the father of the spendthrift family that blew a lottery win in the first installment now gambles away an inheritance in Las Vegas – grossed $15.9 million through Jan. 19, and counting.
“We want to position Globo Filmes as a producer and potential partner outside Brazil,” Correa said. Globo is open to local partners from each market exploring content on all platforms, he added.
Unveiled in Miami, Globo’s 2014 telenovela slate included femme friendship chronicle “Side by Side,” a 2013 Intl. Emmy best telenovela winner, and “Brave Woman,” written by Gloria Perez (“The Clone”), whose plucky heroine falls foul of a human-trafficking cartel.
Globo telenovelas, and now series and mini-series, have long ago broadened out from staple tales of star-crossed, across-the-tracks amor.
Seg times have contracted, tempo energized: Packing just five half-hours, Intl. Emmy-nommed “Next in Line’s” protagonist is Brazil’s president. “Siren’s Song,” just four half-hours, another NATPE newbie, is a big-budget mystery thriller, sparked by a pop star’s homicide.
Globo fiction also leverages historical settings for high production values and spectacle that sets it apart from rivals.
Unspooling in Rio de Janeiro’s Belle Epoque, and turning on the friendship between two Brazilian women intent on winning larger freedoms, “Side by Side” used 900 extras, and one kilometer of fabric lags, ribbons and flowers for a carnival scene; “Woman” located its trafficking network in Turkey, filming a month-and-a-half there, first in the lunar landscape of Cappadocia, then Istanbul.
Globo is increasingly enrolling top movie talent, co-producing movie/mini-series. Dhalia’s “Bald Mountain” – a fast-cut, epic tale of friendship and greed set in the early ‘80s Amazon at one of the biggest hell-on-earth open pit mines in the world – world-premiered as a feature at October’s Rio Fest, bowed theatrically, then began airing on Globo from Jan. 21 as a four-part mini-series.
Syncopated in its editing, with a Scorsese-like voice over, louch in its scenes set at 30, a village where miner went for stores and whores, “Bald Mountain” is cable TV quality fiction made by Globo.
Globo has grown “a lot” its subscribers base to more than two million at its branded TV channels outside Brazil. Over approximately 700,000 premium clients watch TV Globo Intl. around the word. A second channel, TV Globo Portugal, a basic cable TV channel, launched late 2012 attaining over 1.6 million subscribers.
“In its almost 50 years, Globo’s greatest competitive advantage has been to evolve in the way it develops, create and produce content,” Correa said.
Globo telenovelas can still rate, then sell big time. Launched at NATPE last year, the final episode of “Brazil Avenue” was watched by 80 million people in Brazil; the novela sold to 125 countries within one year.
“’Brazil Avenue’s’ way of telling its story was completely new. The series and mini-series have different targets. The novelas are for broadcast networks in Latin America. Some mini-series will play free-TV, some will reach cable channels in and outside Latin America,” Correa said.
He added: “The question that we asked when we began to expand Globo’s catalog six years ago was: ‘How can we extend Globo’s experience to different windows, maintaining our windows with partners in markets, but also gaining other audiences, consumer experiences, partners and new opportunities.’ It’s a sum-up equation.”