Argentine net Canal 9 gets $20 mil makeover

Web angling for families

BUENOS AIRES — Third-ranked Argentine broadcaster Canal 9 is getting a makeover from new owners Prime TV of Australia and local sports programmer TyC, which is partly owned by TCI Intl.

Canal 9 (aka Libertad) will be renamed 9 Television as part of a $20 million image revamp, to be completed by year’s end.

The net, whose ratings have slumped in the last 12 months, will revise its slate with more of a family orientation, and several U.S.-style sitcoms are in development.

“We need a lot of changes, but there were contracts that we had to respect and people to consider. By the end of the year we will be ready,” GM Pablo Galli, former topper at market leader Telefe, told Daily Variety.

Galli was brought in to manage Canal 9 by media conglom CEI, a partner in both TyC and Telefe.

Profile change

Prime TV and CEI already have sought to grow the web’s profile by expanding its international version, Canal 9 Satelital. Earlier this month it bowed in the U.S. as part of Liberty Media’s Spanish-lingo digital package, Canales ñ.

Canal 9 produces 60% of its slate, Galli said, and imported fare can be substituted with product from its 8,000-hour library.

Canal 9 Satelital features popular local shows such as talker “Hora Clave,” with Mario Grondona, and the 1997 novela “Ricos y Famosos.” A regional newscast is expected to bow in a few months.

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