Cisneros Media Distribution Aims for Co-Prods, Format Sales

Seeking Brazilian Partnerships

Miami-based Cisneros Media Distribution (CMD), the content distribution arm of Venezuelan media giant Cisneros Group, is pushing for more co-productions and format sales in the international marketplace. Spearheaded by Marcello Coltro, executive VP of content distribution, the new strategy forms part of the company’s bid to consolidate its pay TV, content sales and production divisions, said Coltro, who joined CMD in October.

Six new productions have been in development since January with some potential partners lined up. Among other titles, CMD will be seeking co-producers at Mip TV for “Vivir a Prueba,” a 60-episode police thriller, and “Amores Magicos,” a 60-episode series with elements of romance, magic and suspense.

Cisneros owns major studios in Venezuela and Miami as well as a smaller one in Mexico where Web series are mainly produced. In Miami, its 114,000-sq. ft. studio, one of the largest privately owned studios in Florida, produces shows for Univision, in which it has a minority stake, but is open to producing for other clients, said Coltro. Furthermore, its Venezuelan studio boasts the capacity to produce broadcast-quality productions and offers competitive pricing, he added.

CMD is also looking to partner with local Brazilian producers and be active in the growth of that market, said Coltro. “Brazil’s TV market is worth $19 billion, the largest in Latin America,“ he said.

Key to the company’s further growth is the reformatting of its telenovelas, with the total number of episodes nearly halved to around 100, storylines resolving during the course of the show rather than at the end, shorter scenes, and more social-media interactivity. A prime example of this new format is a comedic telenovela revolving around a chef whose recipes are posted online, with segments on YouTube and other sites. Cisneros is seeking co-producers on the still untitled show, which starts production in the third quarter of this year.

Leading its Mip TV lineup of telenovelas, reality series, sports and variety shows are new telenovelas “Amor Secreto” and “Voltea,” and 65-episode drug trafficking drama series “Ruta 35, La Valvula de Escape.”

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