Apr 23, 2008


Frequently,  Produ.com publishes an  Excel file that is a database of all the telenovelas on the air in Spain and the Americas. The data in this file allows us to get a clear idea of which are the dominant producing countries in the international telenovela market. You can download the file by clicking the button NOVELAS AL AIRE, located in the left-hand column of Produ's webpage. 

As a visual communication's person, I believe that a chart can say more than 1,000 words. Hence, here are two charts I prepared with Produ's data. (If you want to see the charts more clearly, please click on them. Also, please forgive that their titles are in Spanish).

Consider the following when you look at the charts:

1.- The data file includes telenovelas broadcast in the Americas an Spain during the week of March1-7,  2008.

2.- I tallied the data from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela because these are the countries that produce and sell more telenovelas. I didn't add Chile and/or other countries because according to Produ, their participation in the international telenovela market doesn't reach the levels of the countries I included. I decided to add network Telemundo (even though it isn't a country), because of its undeniable presence and influence in the market.

3.- The pie chart is organized by countries. 

4.- The second chart lists the most important telenovela producers in the countries mentioned in the pie chart.   

5.- If you would like to examine the data more in depth, I recommend you download the file from the Produ website.

The instant photograph that these charts give us is pretty clear. It's one more reason why I believe (and fear) that the globalization of telenovelas means their mexicanization. And, if we consider the undeniable dominance of Televisa in the international arena, and the fact that it has been producing only remakes...you can understand my concern that the fundamental ingredient of telenovelas--creativity--is being curtailed. (See my post about remakes). 

It would be very interesting to access the data for the rest of the world and see if it follows the same pattern.


Anonymous said...

Carolina, I could not agree more with your concerns with respect to Televisa's stagnant creativity in the writing department. When you have producers like TVN from Chile showing them up time and time again with product that is imaginative, fresh, contemporary, topical and well-acted, you've got a market that is ready to be turned on its ears.

It's interesting that TVN and other producers, such as Pol-ka, are packaging their scripts for reproduction with local casts, sometimes with terrific results. The Mexican version of "Montecristo", produced by TV Azteca from an Argentine script may have excelled the original for drama.

Robin N

Maybe it's the failure of Televisa to innovate that has spurred on this wave of creativity elsewhere...?

Dr. Carolina Acosta-Alzuru said...

Hi Robin, your comment is very pertinent. There is a disparity between the lack of imagination exhibited by Televisa and the creativity wave we see in other countries. The problem is in the distribution. The charts from the Produ files are a sobering image... actually, they're depressing to me. Wide distribution only belongs to Televisa. Increasingly, people are watching (and getting used to) Televisa's remakes, which often are destructive of the original. Hence, these audiences are getting a steady diet of remakes, Mexican ways and accents, stereotypes, and stories re-packaged for a particular demographic, that is also the dominant immigrant demographic in the U.S. Increasingly, and unavoidably, other production companies and countries will end up reproducing that trend. After all, TV is a business.