SIC Portugal’s Carlota Vieira

The scripted scene varies greatly by territory, and the Portuguese market has its own set of audience appetites, challenges and advantages. Portugal’s SIC has been a key destination for both local and global audiences and buyers since its inception over three decades ago, with its titles maintaining mass appeal.

“I would say that love is working best in drama these days,” shares Carlota Vieira, SIC’s content sales deputy director. “Although, crime is still a winner. Genres such as sci-fi and fantasy are being deprioritized.”

The demand for romance and crime over other content is territory-agnostic, and the Portuguese market is working to respond to that global appetite. Vieira explains, “Portugal produces a lot of long-running dramas that [appeal] to many territories, not only on linear but also for digital models such as SVOD, AVOD, FAST, etc.”

While SIC does create with local audiences in mind, the company aims to maintain global appeal. “We sell to all continents,” Vieira notes. Targeting content to all territories where it is relevant is key to maximizing its reach. “We have our dramas dubbed in different languages. For instance, a French version can sell not only in European French-speaking territories but also in African ones or in Canada. We’re also looking into Eastern Europe, as we feel there is good potential there.”

When it comes to streaming demographics, Vieira notes that some buyers are even reconsidering their focus. “We target younger audiences to our streaming platform, but we hear that even streamers are reconsidering age now. They feel they have more of a percentage of mature audiences.”

So what sets Portugal’s dramas apart on a global stage? “It’s a very curious mix,” says Vieira. “We are Latin and romantics, although the culture is somewhat European and more liberal than other territories. We feel comfortable addressing certain themes that audiences easily relate to and creating complex characters.” Regarding the logistics of production, she adds, “We have beautiful and diverse landscapes and very good production quality.”

While no one knows when the tide for the market will turn again, SIC is pushing on, despite the circumstances. The company has plans to launch an environmental series set in the near future.

“We are reinforcing our presence in Latin America and other territories,” adds Vieira. To that end, she hints, “We will be adapting a Turkish script for a local version of a telenovela,” building on the momentum that Turkish dramas have gained globally. “We will also be producing a new season of one of our top shows O Clube (The Good Girls Club).”

Overall, Vieira says, “We believe in content. Good stories charm audiences and travel globally.”