RIO DE JANEIRO — Although Brazil’s TV sector is expanding and local nets have increased purchasing power, that doesn’t mean they’ll buy more at Mip.

Helped by the country’s favorable economic conditions, nets pocketed 9.5 billion reais ($4 billion) in 2005 in ad spending, a 15% increase in relation to the previous year. The expansion is expected to continue this year, thanks to the favorable economy and the 2006 FIFA Soccer World Cup mid-year in Germany.

The Cup, which takes place every four years, is Brazil’s top sports event and traditionally helps nets to boost ad revenues. The sharp appreciation of local currency Real in relation to the dollar has also contributed to boost the buying power of nets.

Nets continue to air imported shows on a limited basis. The bulk of programming is comprised of locally made telenovelas, newscasts, series and talkshows, variety shows, gameshows, reality shows and quizzers, with nothing to change soon.

“The stronger Real makes our life easier, but we won’t be buying more foreign shows,” says Mip attendee Goya Garcia, research and acquisitions manager of fourth-ranked net TV Bandeirantes.

The investment in local telenovelas is leading to the most significant market development of the past months in Brazil. No. 3 net TV Record created a production center in Rio and telenovela “Proof of Love” is regularly beating No. 2 net SBT during part of primetime Monday through Saturday. SBT continues as the second-place net while TV Globo remains on top.

TV Record’s programming director Helio Vargas will represent the net in the market, while SBT did not confirm its participation at press time. Garcia said he will buy blooper shows and will be checking formats of short game and quizzers.

TV Globo will send a seven-member sales team to the market. The company’s new products are telenovelas “Belissima,” “Soul Mate,” “America” and “JK” and miniseries “Mad Maria.” It will also offer returning products, such as bestselling “Shades of Sin,” the net’s first telenovela with an African-Brazilian leading actress.

1. “Belissima,” TV Globo

2. “Jornal Nacional,” TV Globo

3. “A Grande Familia,” TV Globo