RIO DE JANEIRO — Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) announced Wednesday an agreement to buy a majority stake in Brazil-based, indie comedy content producer Porta dos Fundos, the owner of a global top 10 most-subscribed entertainment YouTube channel.
VIMN and Porta dos Fundos will collaborate on new productions for linear and non-linear platforms, the company announced. VIMN owns in the country several pay-TV channels, including Comedy Central Brazil. Abiding by local regulations, the company has to produce local content for their Brazilian channels.
Porta dos Fundos is a local comedy web phenomenon. The group’s five founding partners — Antonio Tabet, Fabio Porchat, Gregorio Duvivier, Ian Fernandes (aka Ian SBF) and Joao Vicente de Castro — uploaded their first series of sketches on Porta dos Fundos’ YouTube channel in 2012 and became an instant success. The channel now has over 13 million subcribers, according to VidStatsX, and is the most influential global YouTube channel, according to Zefr, a video technology company.
In addition to producing several hundred short-form comedy sketches, Porta dos Fundos made comic, mystery series “The Great Gonzalez,” aired in Nov. 2015 in Brazil on pay-TV net Fox Brasil, and feature film “Lifetime Contract,” which was released here in 2016 and had a less than expected B.O. performance.
The comedy group has also toured Brazil with comedic play “Portatil” (Portable) since May 2015. VIMN and Porta dos Fundos co-produced a five part series based on the play that aired on Comedy Central Brazil in 2016.
“The venture is a big step for the group towards expanding into the international market, with new global opportunities for our portfolio both on and offline. Additionally, the deal provides exceptional distribution channels for our content,” said Tereza Gonzalez, CEO of Porta dos Fundos.
Pierluigi Gazzolo, president of VIMN Americas, said: “As we continue to build scale in the Latin American region, our investment in Porta dos Fundos furthers our commitment to the Brazilian market and increases our ability to create innovative content.”
Last November, VIMN acquired Telefe, the No. 1 free-to-air channel in neighboring Argentina.