Globo TV has two very big TV draws approaching with the World Cup and the Olympics coming to Brazil in the next few years. How is the network gearing up?
Globo TV has a long history of success covering sporting events. Our partnership with FIFA, for example, began in 1970.
We’re developing special coverage for the 2014 World Cup and for the 2016 Olympics, which will not be limited to sporting competitions. We want Brazilian viewers to understand the importance of being hosts of the two greatest world sporting events and to live out this experience in the fullest possible way.
The network also acquired rights to broadcast the World Cups of 2018 in Russia and 2022 in Qatar.
This is also a big deal in terms of international recognition for the network. Any plans to capitalize on the extra attention? While Portuguese is the network’s primary language, will there be a boost in translated content for these events?
As the leading broadcaster in the country, Globo TV will be a reference for broadcasters from around the world that will also be covering the events from Brazil.
From an international standpoint, we use this know-how to bring to the world, through Globo TV Sports, the best in Brazilian sports.
The distributor broadcasts soccer games to more than 100 countries with play-by-play and commentary in English, specially produced for the international market, reaching millions of sports fans in places like Asia, China, Eastern Europe and the Americas.
Globo TV recently joined the Future of Broadcast Television Initiative. What will this mean for TV audiences?
Until now, each new generation of broadcast TV has always been deployed through different and non-compatible transmission technologies, region by region.
The Future of Broadcast Television aims to define a common set of tools that will be used worldwide with the next generation of broadcast television.
These tools will address mobility and the convergence of broadcast and broadband for the enjoyment of both linear and non-linear content. That means visitors from different countries will be able to watch TV on devices from their native country.
A lot of international networks mine story ideas from English language shows. For example your network is launching a remake of Britain’s Worst Driver franchise, Ruim de Roda (“Bad at the Wheel”). How do you adapt international programs to Brazilian culture?
Globo TV invests in and gives privilege to national content, made by Brazilians for Brazilians, in its programming. In 2011 alone Globo broadcasted more than two thousand hours of in-house content.
Nevertheless, we are always attentive to the formats created in other countries and aim to tailor similar programs and segments to fit the profile of the Brazilian television viewer. After all, many of those programs have universal appeal.
For example, a Brazilian version of Big Brother from Endemol has been a huge hit. This year we had the 12th Brazilian edition and have already announced the next season.
Globo TV is particularly known for its telenovelas (soap operas). What do you think accounts for their popularity when English-language soap operas are in decline?
Our telenovelas deal with themes like love, fear, sadness and the search for happiness. These themes are common to all television viewers and go beyond the boundaries of regions, countries and cultures. For that reason, they are capable of being transferred to different countries and attract audiences in very different cultures.
Brazilians are known for their ravenous appetite for social media. How does this affect the way Globo’s content is delivered and consumed?
We have invested in this sector because we recognize that the web enriches the experience of watching television, adds interaction, helps build social communities around programs, deepens knowledge of new content and allows portability.
The web creates an enormous field of possibilities, strengthening the role of TV as the preferential media for the public. In addition, new technologies and the popularization of mobile devices (cell phones, tablets and notebooks) expand access to digital communication.
Brazil has one of the largest free-to-air television audiences in the Western world, and we see this as a formidable asset. What we have observed and monitored, however, is that we need to be with our television viewers even when they are out of the house.
Thus, we have taken advantage of opportunities that arise on other platforms and outside of the home, transforming us into a multiplatform company.
Roberto Schmidt will be speaking at the UbiQ Digital Entertainment Showcase, which takes place in Paris June 18-19.