Magazine article Variety

'Buy' Rating for LatAm NATPE

Magazine article Variety

'Buy' Rating for LatAm NATPE

Article excerpt

Miami, the gateway to Latin America, will once again host a wave ofNATPE attendees from a region that has emerged relatively unscathed by the global economic crisis, posting dynamic economic growth and a predominantly young population that spells burgeoning programming needs from both general and pay TV markets in the territory.

"Latin American broadcasters are seeking the attention of younger viewers and their families, so tween and teen content is in high demand," says Helen Jurado, VP of TV sales & distribution at BBC Worldwide Latin America, who recently sold a package of youth-targeted programs to HBO Latin America "Everyone is going for the elusive 18-to-35 audience," she adds.

The HBO package includes new BBC Worldwide tomboy skein "Sadie J," time-twisting adventure skein "Leonardo," drama skein "Strike Back" and music program "Later . . . With Jools Holland." BBC Worldwide's extensive catalog of concerts is in high demand.

Networks are also facing the fragmentation of their core middle- and upper-class audience, which is gravitating toward the Internet and mobile devices to get their entertainment fix.

Viacom's youth-skewing Comedy Central is responding to this development by launching across all multimedia platforms in both Portuguese and Spanish in Latin America on Feb. 1. The network is set to reach an initial 10 million viewers through distribution deals with major cable carriers. Programming will include U.S. pics, skeins, standup comedy shows and local acquisitions such as "XHDerbez" and "Va de nuez en cuando" from Mexico's Televisa Daily news shows "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" will be available only on Comedy Central Latin America's website, launched in November 2011, along with such Web skeins such as "The Spooky Show," which is slated to debut on the channel in the near future.

More companies have been turning to local production in a region where domestic content remains king.

"We will be on the lookout at NATPE for new series to acquire, and will be exploring new formats and sitcoms to remake in Mexico and Argentina by 2013," says Fernando Gaston, senior VP of creative, content and music at MTV/VH1/ Comedy Central Latin America.

"We'll also be seeking more telenovela co-production partners at NATPE," says Gaston, in keeping with MTV's aim to make at least one youthtargeted telenovela a year. MTV started original content production in 2009 with "Ninas mal," a co-production with Sony Pictures Television. …

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