RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil’s TV indie production sector is booming and its shows are increasingly gaining space on local pay-TV channels, as a result of regulations establishing quotas in pay-TV channels and operators and more government coin incentives.
According to Brazil’s Cinema Agency (Ancine), the number of hours of Brazilian productions shown on the local top 14 pay-TV channels rose to 3,884 hours in 2013, up 286 percent – or getting-on-for triple – from 1,007 hours in 2011. The number of title register certificates (CRTs), the document a pay-TV net needs to air a show, for Brazilian productions increased to 3,205 in 2013, up 321 percent from 761 in 2011. The trend continues up with 1,424 CRTs issued in the Jan.-July 2014 period.
Speakers of Rio Fest’s RioMarket 2014’s panel “Judicial aspects of television productions” agreed the growing presence of local indie shows in pay TV is the direct result of law number 12.485 passing in 2011. The legislation sets quotas for Brazilian programming in pay-TV channels and local channels in operators’ packages.
“The local independent production market is surging,” panelist Rosana Alcantara, director of Ancine, told Variety. “The market initially showed some resistance to the new legislation, but it adapted itself rapidly.”
Since 2011, nets have shown 180 new Brazilian indie productions: 40 variety series, 15 realities, 42 fiction series, 74 docs and 17 animations, according to Ancine.
“Following the new legislation, established indie production companies were flooded with work. Meanwhile, a number of new companies launched, as producers employed in existing firms decided to create their own companies and venture in the favorable market,” panelist Fabio Cesnik, of CesnikQuintino&Salinas, a law firm with expertise in media and entertainment, told Variety.
Additionally to the new legislation, in one tranche of new TV funding, the indie sector benefited from increasing amounts of gov coin incentives through the Sector Fund (FSA): 183 million Reals (US$ 76.2 million) in 2013/2014, up from US$ 26.7 million in 2012/2013, according to Ancine.
Alcantara and Cesnik said the challenge now for the indie production sector is to enter the more profitable local free-to-air TV market. Brazil’s mighty broadcasters produce the bulk of the shows they air, such as telenovelas and variety and talk shows. There are no regulations for the airing of indie shows on open TV in Brazil and broadcasters traditionally commission from indies just a small fraction of their programming.