Brazil: Nets to increase foreign buys

Mip Territory Reports

RIO DE JANEIRO — With the local market heating up and the national currency continuing to rout the U.S. dollar, at least two Brazilian nets say they will increase their purchases of foreign shows this year.

Brazil audience leader TV Globo has increased its budget for international programming acquisitions in 2008 by 15% compared with last year, according to the net’s director of general programming & acquisitions, Roberto Buzzoni.

Two members of Buzzoni’s team, executive assistant Cristina Reis and director of contracts Suzy Ubing, will search Mip for games, reality formats, variety programs, docs and fillers as well as programming related to the upcoming Beijing Summer Olympics.

No. 4 net TV Bandeirantes, represented by acquisitions manager Goyo Garcia at Mip, also plans to increase its purchases of foreign shows this year.

By the end of February, the dollar was worth 1.69 Brazilian real, down 20% from one year earlier. Since the end of 2002, the dollar has depreciated more than 50% in relation to the real.

This exchange-rate condition will “facilitate” the acquisition of foreign programming, says a spokesman for TV Record, which for the past year has consolidated its position as Brazil’s No. 2 net. TV Record acquisitions director Paulo Calil will specifically look for features and reality formats at Mip.

No. 5 net Rede TV, repped by head of programming Monica Pimentel at Mip, will search for series, games and realities.

Meanwhile, the country’s pay TV sector, traditionally regarded as a stepchild to conventional TV, is gaining importance. The country’s favorable economic conditions and changing social policies, giving the middle class more money to spend, led to a 15% expansion in 2007 of the total number of pay TV subs in Brazil.

Claudia Macedo, acquisitions head of top Brazilian pay TV programmer Globosat, will buy programming for the company’s traditional 14 pay TV nets plus three nets created at the end of 2007: Globosat HD (with digital programming only) and adult Venus and Private Gold (a joint venture of Globosat and Playboy TV).

“We are actually learning more about the different types of digital programming that are fits for Globosat HD,” Macedo says. “We are also interested in programming for new media, such as fillers and mobisodes, which we can feature on (entertainment channel) Multishow and on the net’s (Internet) portal.”

For GNT (Globosat’s documentary and women’s programming channel), Macedo will look for lifestyle shows, movies made for broadcast TV and cable, and docs on recent events, such as the resignation of Fidel Castro. For SporTv, she will specifically search for Beijing Summer Olympics’ programming. For the company’s five film nets, she wants indie features.

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