In a further step toward the conquest of the Chinese TV market, Brazilian TV giant Globo has just licensed period telenovela “Side by Side,” winner of a 2013 Intl. Emmy Award, to China Central Television (CCTV), the country’s leading state-owned network group.
Deal marks a significant move, given the notorious difficulty of market penetration in China for foreign TV productions. It also strengthens Globo’s close relationship with CCTV, which previously acquired further Globo programming such as classic telenovela “Isaura-Slave Girl” and mini-series “Seven Women.”
“Side by Side” is expected to debut in August, dubbed in Chinese, reaching China, Hong Kong and Macao.
“Re-investing in a Globo’s drama, CCTV recognizes the high quality of our production and its ability to reach different cultures around the world,” said Raphael Correa Netto, Globo executive director of International Business.
“This new licensing in China proves that Globo continues to grow on Asia. The challenge is to keep offering our products to Asian Channels, and we believe that there are many possibilities to explore in the region,” he said.
Recently, the Brazilian TV conglom has opened new fronts in Asia. For the first time Indonesia has licensed Globo’s telenovelas “Tangled Hearts,” “The Life We Lead” and “India – A Love Story,” chosen by broadcast TV network Kompas TV.
Further pioneering pacts in the region include the sale of “The Life We Lead” to ABS-CBN in Philippines and a volume deal with EPG from South Korea.
Set in Rio de Janeiro, in the early years of the 20th century, “Side by Side” tells the life of two women from different origins and social classes that share the ideal of winning their freedom in a conservative society.
The background to the telenovela’s love stories shows facts that help to define de Brazilian cultural identity such as samba, capoeira, carnival, soccer, religion related to African roots and favela housing.
A super-production with special emphasis on costumes, decors and art production, “Side by Side” shot in the Brazilian cities of Petropolis and Sao Luis, involving around 270 professionals and north of 900 extras in order to recreate the atmosphere of Rio de Janeiro in the Belle Epoque era.
Globo, Latin America’s biggest TV operator, aired the telenovela in September 2012 in an access primetime TV slot, scoring a strong overall average of 23 rating points and a 51% share, with about 28 million daily viewers.
Subsequently, “Side by Side” launched in an extensive list of international territories led by Portugal, where, broadcast by Globo basic channel, it became in its final stretch the most watched program on the Portuguese cable TV market, luring 127,000 daily eyeballs. Further TV markets where the telenovela broadcast include the U.S. (MundoFox), Armenia (Public Channel of Armenia), El Salvador (Canal Cuatro) and Costa Rica (Teletica).
Since the category was created in 2008, Globo productions have won five Intl. Emmy Award for best telenovela. After “Side by Side,” “Precious Pearl” snagged the prize in the most recent edition.