Music-themed telenovelas drive the Mip TV portfolio of Colombia’s leading broadcaster, RCN TV, which hit a winning formula with three elements rolled into one telenovela: Tweens, vampires and music. RCN’s “Chica Vampiro” scored huge ratings in Italy with sold-out concerts across eight Italian cities last year and merchandising and CDs flying off the shelves. The tween telenovela is also a hit on Nick Latin America and currently airs in Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg.
Among the latest musical telenovelas leading RCN’s Mip TV lineup are: “Celia,” a Fox Telecolombia 80-seg series about Cuban salsa diva Celia Cruz, and “Diomedes Diaz,” which centers on the troubled life of the late Colombian folksinger-songwriter. “Diomedes” is the number one show in Colombia at present, according to RCN Int’l sales head Maria Lucia Hernandez. Both series have already sold across Latin America.
But traditional telenovelas, led by “Secretos del Paraiso” (“Secrets of Paradise”), and edgier titles such as “El Capo,” now on its third season, are expected to sell well, with Holland and Luxembourg already tipped to air “El Capo 3.”
“Africa has lately been very receptive to Latino product, and in our case Angola and Mozambique,” said Hernandez, who added that a deal to air one of its hits series across the continent via cable is pending a final agreement. “Chica Vampiro” also airs in Angola and Mozambique via Portugal’s SIC Int’l.
Meanwhile, RCN TV, which launched MundoFox TV, a U.S. Hispanic joint venture with Fox Int’l Channels, in 2012, continues to ramp up its presence in the U.S.
Int’l Executive VP Julian Giraldo, who moved to Washington nearly two years ago to oversee RCN’s pay TV networks NTN24, a 24 hours news channel, and Nuestra Tele (formerly TeleColombia), is in talks with cable, satellite and OTT providers to carry RCN Telenovelas in the U.S. this year.
“We produce up to 1.000 hours of programming a year, there’s a lot of content to spare,” said Giraldo. While MundoFox has the exclusivity for RCN programming in the U.S., there are a lot of programs it doesn’t pick up, such as RCN’s classic telenovelas.
RCN Telenovelas currently reaches four million subs in Colombia and Latin America, a subscription level likely to double by year’s end as deals with other cable and OTT operators close.