×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Priest Scandal Telenovela Drives Chile’s Mega TV to Ratings High

‘Perdona Nuestros Pecados’ (‘Forgive Us Our Sins’) and other telenovelas rule Chile’s airwaves

SANTIAGO DE CHILE – Thanks to six hours a day of telenovelas, stripped Mondays to Fridays, Chilean broadcaster Mega TV has dominated the country’s television landscape over the past three years. But one particular telenovela has gripped this country of some 17 million inhabitants, driving Mega TV’s ratings to historical levels.

“Perdona Nuestros Pecados” (“Forgive Us Our Sins”) has generated average ratings of 27.4 in its 10 p.m. time slot, nearly triple that of competing programs on its next biggest rival, Canal 13. Credit also goes to a newish executive team, led by CEO Patricio Hernandez, who joined the company in 2013; head of content Patricia Bazan; production and operations chief Andrea Dell’Orto; and Juan Ignacio Vicente, head of content and international Business. Before the new team took over, Mega TV’s average rating was 4.3 in 2013, compared to its current average of 11.2, said Vicente.

In June 2016, Discovery Communications acquired a 27.5% stake in the channel, which now airs four hours a week of Discovery programs and is partnering with Discovery on the Chilean version of the global TV giant’s reality show “Say Yes to the Dress,” (“Vestido de Novia”).

“When we came in, Mega TV was trailing behind its competitors and barely producing its own content,” said Vicente who keeps Lao Tzu’s “The Art of War” prominently displayed on his coffee table. While in the process of building an in-house content division, Mega TV brought Turkish soaps to Chile, the first to do so. They grew into ratings juggernauts. Mega TV still airs three Turkish soaps a day, as well as telenovelas from Globo Brazil, with which they have recently inked a programming supply pact. “It was hard to find Turkish translators in the beginning but now we tap translation services in Spain, Chile and Turkey,” said Vicente, who plans to kick off international sales on “Perdona Nuestros Pecados” at Mipcom where it will lead Mega TV’s slate. Mega TV signed a co-production pact with Turkey’s Kanal D, the producers of hits “Fatmagul” and “A Thousand and One Nights,” at Mip TV this year.

Stripped Monday to Thursday, the 1950s-set “Perdona Nuestros Pecados” centers on a priest who seeks to avenge his sister’s suicide after she’s abandoned by the man who impregnates her. However, the priest falls in love with the culprit’s daughter, complicating matters even more. In a staunchly catholic country, the idea of a priest seeking vengeance and engaging in a forbidden romance makes for compelling viewing. Mega TV had to build a village and a church as it knew no church would allow the program to film within their hallowed walls.

The average budget for Mega TV’s adult-themed 10 p.m. telenovelas is $85,000 per episode but the “Perdona Nuestros Pecados” budget has exceeded the norm, being the broadcaster’s first period telenovela.

The soap is also driving visitors to Mega TV ‘s website, which receives an average of 30 million visitors a month, many seeking to catch up on past episodes. The expansion of its digital universe does not end there. “We plan to launch an app by the first semester of 2018,” said Vicente.

More Film

  • Bradley Cooper A Star Is Born

    The Message of the Oscar Nominations: You'd Better Have a Social Message

    Each year at the Left Coast crack of dawn, when the Oscar nominations are announced, there’s generally at least one major nomination many pundits were predicting that fails to materialize. When that happens, entertainment media tends to rise up as one and say the s-word: snub. In truth, it’s not usually a snub; it’s just [...]

  • Elton John and Mark Ronson

    Elton John to 'Shallow' Songwriter Mark Ronson: 'You're Going to Win the Oscar'

    Elton John is willing to bet that Mark Ronson will win the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born.” The nominations were announced this morning. The legendary performer spoke to Ronson on the latest episode of his radio show “Elton John’s Rocket Hour” on Apple Music’s Beats 1.  “You’re having a [...]

  • Olivia Colman Colin Firth Helen Mirren

    Playing a British Monarch Is a Step on the Road to Oscar Glory - Again

    “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,” Shakespeare wrote of Britain’s care-burdened monarchs. Try telling that to the Academy. Once again, playing British royalty has proved to be a tried-and-true route to Oscar glory, with Olivia Colman as the latest actor to be nominated for an Academy Award for portraying an occupant of the British [...]

  • Black Panther Movie

    Oscars: 'Black Panther' Leads Best Picture Nominees to Near-Record Box Office Grosses

    This year’s Academy Award nominees proved the Oscars don’t need a popular film category to recognize movies with huge box office grosses. The 2019 crop of best picture hopefuls have generated an impressive $1.26 billion so far in North America alone. That bounty is led by “Black Panther,” which earned a sensational $700 million at [...]

  • oscar nominations 2019 stream online

    How to Watch This Year’s Oscar-Nominated Films

    The 2019 Oscar nominations have been announced, and if you want to catch up on the nominees, we’ve rounded up some easy ways to watch or stream the original films, documentaries, and songs competing for an award. Period comedy “The Favourite” and Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” lead the pack with 10 nominations apiece, while “Green Book” [...]

  • Pawel Pawlikowski "Cold War"

    Pawel Pawlikowski's 'Cold War' Makes History for Poland

    Alfonso Cuaron might’ve tied an Oscar record with four nods to his name for “Roma,” which scored 10 nominations overall. But another black-and-white film in a foreign language, Pawel Pawlikowski’s jazz-infused romantic drama “Cold War,” was honored with three Academy Award nominations Tuesday, the most in history for a primarily Polish-backed production. The film will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content