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Globosat, Caracol TV to Launch Hispanic Pay-TV Channel (EXCLUSIVE)

Latin American powerhouses ink U.S. joint venture

Two of Latin America’s biggest pay tv operators – Brazil’s Globosat and Colombia’s Caracol TV – have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch a Spanish-language pay-TV channel in the United States in 2015.

The 55 million Hispanic TV market is one of the fastest growing markets in the U.S..

Globosat and Caracol believe that their new pay-TV channel will be able to compete with the likes of Univision and NBCUniversal’s Telemundo, who have gained increasing control over this market by cherry-picking popular telenovelas and producing new Spanish-language shows for U.S. viewers.

The new joint venture will air existing content from Globosat and Caracol and will also develop new high-quality fiction programming specifically aimed at the U.S. market.

Globosat, part of the privately controlled Globo group, is the biggest pay-TV operator in Latin America, with 34 Brazilian channels – spanning news, fiction, sports, culture, education and live entertainment – including 15 HD channels, 10 PPV channels and 6 VOD channels.

Globosat already has extensive partnerships with U.S. players for the Brazilian market, including with MGM, NBC-Universal, Fox and Playboy.

The company is keen to tap into the US Hispanic market, but this requires astute strategic partnerships given that its core programming is in Portuguese.

This will be Globosat’s most ambitious international expansion to date.

Globosat’s CEO, Alberto Pecegueiro stated in a joint press release disclosed today: “Globosat, with almost 23 years of existence, has accumulated major experience in launching pay TV channels in collaboration with leading international groups. For us it’s a natural step to look carefully at the fastest growing sector in the US – the Spanish-language pay TV market.”

Caracol TV, part of the publicly-listed Valorem Group, is Colombia’s largest free-to-air broadcaster, producing 5,200 programming hours per year, and is one of Latin America’s largest producers of telenovelas, including titles such as “El Cartel”.

Caracol has offices in Miami, Madrid and Bogota and has maintained an output deal with Televisa (which owns about 38% of Univision).

Caracol also operates its own U.S. Hispanic pay-TV channel, Caracol TV International, launched in 2003, that focuses on news, entertainment and sports, and has over 2.1 million subscribers.

Caracol’s CEO, Gonzalo Córdoba Mallarino commented that Globosat, “is the partner that we all wanted in this long-term project, which aims to strengthen our existing presence in the Hispanic market in the USA. This is a recognition of the quality of Colombian TV production and reaffirms our dedication to innovation and expansion into new sectors and markets, with new and refreshing content in a market we know and that is increasingly demanding.”

Globosat will provide its know-how and a huge library of Portuguese-language fiction, that can be dubbed into Spanish or adapted as formats.

Pecegueiro explained “We admire Caracol’s quality, as one of the biggest producers of Spanish TV fiction and also identify with the company’s culture, values and business vision”.

The operating budget and programming details of the new channel will be unveiled in October.

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