Celebrated by a VIP evening event at Lisbon’s imposing Jerónimos Monastery, CNN and partner Media Capital will bow CNN Portugal on Monday, marking the biggest news launch in many years for the country.
A 24-hour Portuguese-language channel, CNN Portugal will be run by Media Capital, Portugal’s largest media conglomerate, which also owns top broadcast network TVI and Plural Entertainment, one of the country’s biggest production entities.
Media Capital has licensed the CNN brand from CNN International Commercial (CNNIC) and has access to CNN content and programming across the news network’s portfolio. CNN has worked closely with the Portuguese offering to prepare infrastructure and provide training and consultancy in areas such as content production and newsroom standards and practices, CNNIC said in a statement.
CNN’s brand licensing follows on similar agreements with other partners around the world, such as in Indonesia and Brazil, to develop CNN brands in TV channels, websites and radio beyond its owned and operated platforms such as CNN, CNN International, CNN en Español and CNN Arabic.
In a country with high subscription-based TV penetration, CNN Portugal will be available in 4.3 million homes in Portugal via pay TV.
As news junkies increasingly stream their news, Media Capital has already made a large digital push, launching a dedicated website, CNNPortugal.pt, as early as July.
CNNIC described the deal as a game changer: With CNN Portugal, “a new brand of journalism debuts in Portugal.”
“In a world that is increasingly awash with half-truths and disinformation, CNN has always endeavored to provide quality journalism built on fast and accurate information,” said Rani Raad, president, CNN Worldwide Commercial.
“In Media Capital, we have a partner who shares these values. With this partnership, we look forward to increasing our presence in one of Europe’s fastest growing markets as well as expanding further into a language spoken by over 250 million people around the world.”
“Today we make history,” CNN Portugal proclaimed on its Twitter site.
Certainly, Media Capital, for its part, is taking the launch seriously. It has tapped a swathe of the best known faces in Portuguese TV news and journalism, including iconic RTP and then TVI reporters and anchors Judite Sousa and Júlio Magalhães.
With CNN Portugal, Media Capital is also throwing down a marker of its modern global ambitions as Portugal increasingly looks beyond its domestic market, with the OTT revolution and escalating globalization of consumer habits allowing it to dream of a larger projection in Portuguese-speaking Brazil and beyond.
This enlarged world view is likely to be one dominant theme of ONSeries Lisbon, whose inaugural edition, running later this week from Nov. 25-26, will explore opportunities for international partnerships.
“The arrival of CNN Portugal proves the importance of Portuguese media in the world and, we are certain, will contribute to increase the diversity of perspectives and, therefore, to broaden the democratization of information,” said Mario Ferreira, chairman of Media Capital. “With this partnership, Grupo Media Capital is accelerating and transforming the journalistic universe in the Portuguese language.”