Israeli company boosts telenovelas

Dori Media hopes to expand sales, content

BUENOS AIRES — Israel-based Dori Media Group plans to ramp up telenovela production in a drive to expand sales and enter new media.

It aims to put out 800-1,000 hours in 2008 and more than 1,000 the following year, up from a current 600-800 hours a year, says DMG prexy and CEO Nadiv Palti.

“This will help improve our ability to sell around the world,” he says.

DMG produces four to eight telenovelas a year in Argentina and Israel, where it works with local production outfits Cris Morena Group, Ideas del Sur and Pol-ka to help tap talent and secure airtime.

DMG is eyeing production opportunities in other territories to diversify its catalog but likely will produce in Buenos Aires.

“Argentina is cheap compared with other countries and there is a lot of know-how,” he says.

A favorable exchange rate of 3.15 pesos per dollar makes Argentina’s studios, talent and one-episode-per-day production models affordable.

The expansion comes as the company sees a surge in sales to the U.S., Mexico, France, Germany, Portugal and Russia, led by boxer romance “Sos mi vida” (You are the One), pop band skein “Rebelde Way” (The Rebels) and nanny tale “Floricienta” (Flinderella). Over the past year, the company sold 15 formats to France, Mexico and Portugal.

A new focus is on the U.S., where the company opened an office in Miami in September.

Format sales are becoming a greater focus because they can fetch larger returns as they are bought for primetime, says Silvana D’Angelo, head of international sales and marketing at Dori Media Distribution Argentina. He adds that it is becoming harder to sell ready-to-roll telenovelas in markets like Asia because of the spread of telenovela production.

Late this year or in early 2008, DMG plans to launch a website for telenovelas that will provide a library of information on programs and talent plus the social networking capabilities of MySpace.

The company will generate revenue from sales of advertising and merchandise and, in two-to-three years, from video-on-demand, says Palti.

DMG also plans to open telenovela channels on pay TV nets in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, adding to the two already in Israel and another pair in Indonesia, he says. It supplies the feevees from its 4,000-hour library.

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