You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

MipTV: Cote Ouest, Globo Re-Up Content Deal

African distributor bolsters Brazilian catalog, adds original programming

CANNES — Cote Ouest, the pioneering company that first brought Latin American telenovelas to Africa, has re-upped its deal with Brazil’s Globo TV, extending until 2023 its position as the sole distributor of Globo programming in Africa and French overseas territories.

The deal builds on a relationship that the companies forged 17 years ago. Pointing toward Brazil’s rich cultural ties to the continent, Cote Ouest CEO Bernard Azria said the company was renewing its partnership “with an international studio that in my view is the best placed to understand and serve a continent of 1.2 billion.”

“They’ve got content that resonates with the culture of the African population,” he said. “It’s written in the Globo DNA.”

Along with the distribution deal, Latin America’s biggest broadcaster has enlisted Cote Ouest in its search for potential co-production partners on the continent, according to Azria. It’s a move that points to Globo’s growing desire to become a major international co-production player, while recognizing that, in the Cote Ouest topper’s words, “Africa is the next El Dorado.”

Founded in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in 1993, Cote Ouest was launched as a distributor for Hollywood studios before moving into telenovelas and, later, building the world’s largest catalog of African content. In 2013, the company launched its own production arm, to address what Azria saw as a growing desire for homegrown series in Africa.

Pointing to two decades’ experience as a distributor, Azria described the move as “a big turn in the strategy for the company.” However, he added, “the thirst for local productions is getting bigger and bigger everyday.”

Cote Ouest has three series in production: “40 & Single,” a co-production with the U.S. and Ghana, about a Ghanaian fashion designer torn between settling down and staying independent; “21,” a coming-of-age series set in Abidjan; and “Les Bobodiouf,” a comedy from Burkina Faso. Also in development is a South African police drama, “Gospel,” and an untitled co-production between Morocco and Ivory Coast.

The production slate’s range and ambition reflects the company’s devotion to erasing borders. Cote Ouest pioneered efforts to dub popular African series into both English and French, proving that in much of the continent, cultural similarities in neighboring countries can transcend linguistic barriers. That conviction is central to the company’s mission today. “We never invest even a penny in a project that cannot travel,” said Azria.

The vast Globo catalog offers Cote Ouest plenty of options to look at how series can travel in different ways. With “Mister Brau,” a popular musical sitcom about a black Brazilian pop star who moves into an upper-class white neighborhood, Azria is exploring whether to dub the series into French and English or adapt it and rewrite the script for African territories. The two companies are also working together to develop formats that can be sold to local producers.

For Cote Ouest, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, the key to another successful 25 years is finding ways to capitalize on a TV market that’s increasingly global.

“Making content that is able to travel all over the world is crucial,” said Azria. “The future of independent African production is outside the continent.”

More TV

  • 60 Minutes" reporter Lara Logan takes

    Lara Logan Says She's Been 'Targeted' for Her Claims of Liberal Media Bias

    Former CBS News foreign correspondent Lara Logan appeared on “Hannity” Wednesday evening to expand on her recent remarks characterizing the media as “mostly liberal.” “It’s obvious, right, because you get targeted,” she said, explaining her earlier comments that she was committing “professional suicide” by criticizing the media. “It’s the same group of people, they’re already [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    'Empire' Producers Consider Suspending Jussie Smollett (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fox is considering removing Jussie Smollett from production on “Empire.” Sources close to the production told Variety that producers are weighing whether to suspend the actor after he was charged Wednesday in Chicago with filing a false police report. A spokesperson for 20th Century Fox Television, which produces the series, declined to comment. Smollett’s status on [...]

  • Game of Thrones Final Season: Best

    The Best 'Game of Thrones' Merch to Get You Ready for the New Season

    We’re just weeks away from the premiere of the final season of “Game of Thrones,” and whether you’re a die-hard fan, on the hunt for a novelty gift, or a serious collector hoping to nab some memorabilia before the series signs off for good, we’ve found 10 pieces of merch that pay tribute to one [...]

  • Ryan KadroPaleyLive NY: The News Is

    Ryan Kadro Will Join Quibi to Oversee News Programming (EXCLUSIVE)

    Ryan Kadro left CBS News several weeks ago, but he isn’t leaving the news business. Kadro, the former executive producer of “CBS This Morning” is set to join Quibi, the company led by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman that is devoted to short-form  content. Kadro is expected to oversee news programming for the subscription-based service, [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Charged With Filing False Police Report

    “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has been charged with filing a false police report, the Chicago police said Wednesday. “Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter. Smollett is due to appear in court for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. [...]

  • Coast Guard Lieutenant Hit List

    Coast Guard Lieutenant Targeted CNN, MSNBC Anchors and Democrats for Attacks

    Anchors at CNN and MSNBC and prominent Democrats were targeted for attack by a Coast Guard lieutenant arrested Friday on a firearms charge, according to federal prosecutors in Maryland. In court documents revealed Tuesday, prosecutors describe the firearms and controlled substance charges Christopher Paul Hasson is facing as “the proverbial tip of the iceberg.” CNN’s [...]

  • TV News Roundup: HBO Releases 'The

    TV News Roundup: HBO Drops Trailer for 'The Case Against Adnan Syed' (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, HBO released the first official trailer for its upcoming docu-series “The Case Against Adnan Syed,” and Freeform announced three new cast members for its upcoming comedy series “Besties,” starring Jordin Sparks. DATES Netflix’s upcoming docu-series “Formula 1: Drive to Survive” is set to premiere March 8 on the streaming platform. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content