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BBC Showcase woos buyers in Latin America

Region goes for music shows

Business was brisk at the seventh BBC Showcase Latin America, as more than 100 buyers made the trek to Rio De Janeiro for the region’s only TV market hosted by a single distributor.

Organized by BBC Worldwide — the U.K. pubcaster’s commercial arm — the Aug. 29-31 event gathered execs from host country Brazil, as well as Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay, and buyers from U.S. Hispanic webs and companies that span Latin America.

One of the highlights of the event was the significant presence of buyers from Mexico, says Matt Forde, BBC Worldwide’s executive VP of sales and co-production in the Americas. He says it’s always a challenge to attract Mexican reps to events in South America because of the huge travel distances involved.

However, as the Latin American country with the second largest population and economy after Brazil, Mexico represents a valuable source of sales.

“Mexico is a long way from Rio, but they know Rio is the place to see the best shows from BBC,” says Forde, who also notes that buyers from mega media conglom Televisa, TV Unam and Tycoon attended the meeting.

One of the most notable buys came from Once TV Mexico, which nabbed 100 hours of drama, science and children series. The package includes drama “Being Erica,” a selection of titles from BBC’s flagship science series “Horizon,” and one-part special “Ancient Mega Tsunamis.”

In terms of specific trends, Forde says local buyers are more interested in music programming than are buyers from other regions.

BBC Worldwide’s best-selling music series and specials to webs in Latin America include “Bon Jovi — When We Were Beautiful,” “Glastonbury 2010” and “Seven Ages of Rock,” says Helen Jurado, VP, sales and distribution for BBC Worldwide.

Tyke-skewed shows were also in demand, and Jurado cites scifier “Misfits” as one of the hottest sellers.

Among other sales, Chile’s VTR acquired VOD rights to a number of series across the lifestyle, history and doc genres. Titles include “Dan Cruickshank’s Adventures in Architecture” and “Great British Journeys,” a series that follows in the footsteps of the U.K.’s greatest explorers.

BBC Showcase Latin America is a spinoff of the flagship Showcase that takes place annually in the U.K. Last month, the BBC bowed a Showcase in China.

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