Mexico to mine ‘Millionaire’

TV Azteca to make local version of gameshow

“Slumdog Millionaire’s” box office triumph around the world has finally convinced Mexico’s No. 2 web TV Azteca to make the quiz show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”

Azteca has inked with Disney Media Networks for the show, which features prominently in the multi-Oscar winning pic.

Fernando Barbosa,  senior VP of Disney Media Networks, Latin America, sold the format rights to Azteca rival Televisa in 1999. But Televisa was too engrossed in “Big Brother” to develop it and the rights reverted back to Disney.

“The show’s never aired in Mexico, not even on cable,” said Barbosa.

To save costs, Disney will use purpose-built sets at RCTV in Caracas, Venezuela, where the quizzer is one of the longest-running in Latin America.

RCTV continues to produce the show even though it was forced off the terrestrial airwaves by President Hugo Chavez’s government two years ago and is now only available on pay TV.

Disney will fly the contestants and their support groups into Caracas.

A host has not been chosen.

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