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Programmer Pramer beefs up regional ops

Sales offices in Sao Paulo, Miami part of expansion plans

BUENOS AIRES — Leading Argentine cable programmer Pramer is expanding a regional push that began three years ago with its acquisition by Liberty Media.

The production outfit will this month open an ad sales office in Sao Paulo and plans another in Miami by October. It is also planning a Brazilian programming operation, led by local versions of its major Argentine channels, and is looking for a strategic partner in Mexico.

Pramer, which launched in the 1980s as the in-house programming arm of Argentine cable operator Cablevision, now provides programming to the majority of local pay TV operators.

“With the number of channels we have, almost all of them have taken something,” says Claudio Bevilacqua, Pramer’s CEO.

The company distributes 22 signals, including 14 of its own channels. But it also has a portfolio of distribution deals with channels including Hallmark and the USA Network.

Indies coming

Pramer is currently closing negotiations with mainly European distributors to provide material for an indie film channel by year-end, and Bevilacqua predicts it will close the year with 28 signals.

Under Liberty’s guidance, Pramer has also reworked its existing channels for export and is creating new ones with an international perspective and local content for foreign markets like Mexico, Venezuela and Chile.

Although the company does not to disclose annual revenues, Pramer boasts that it is already the leading TV distributor and producer in the Spanish-speaking world.

Three years after launching its foreign expansion, non-Argentines account for almost a third of Pramer’s 8 million subs, a proportion that will continue to grow, Bevilacqua says.

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