Televisa Internacional Focused on Teen Novelas, Co-Productions


NEW YORK: Claudia Sahab, the director of sales for Europe at Televisa Internacional, tells World Screen about several business areas the company has been ramping up, including its catalogue of teen telenovelas and making co-productions with local European partners.


Sahab says that Televisa’s products have been selling “very well all over Europe.” In particular, classic telenovelas have been the star product. 
Televisa has made its way into prime time in Hungary, which is a country where it has been particularly successful in placing shows. “In Hungary we have grown a lot,” says Sahab. “There was a time, about four years ago, when the country was hardly placing any telenovelas. Now business is incredible in Hungary. We have many slots, with all the big players: RTL, TV2, Story 4. There is a boom once again!”
Sahab says that in general Televisa sells more and more into Europe each year. While she admits that some business has been impacted by the popularity of Turkish dramas as of late, Sahab is not concerned that this trend will have a lasting effect on Televisa’s sales. “We have a 50-year backstory that supports us,” she says. “We are really the leaders in telenovela production, so I’m not worried about it.”
One of the businesses Televisa is building up in Europe is on the co-production front, as it looks to team up with local partners, says Sahab. “We’re starting much more in Western Europe, rather than Central and Eastern Europe,” she adds. “We already have a joint venture in France, and it’s doing great. Now we are co-producing a teen telenovela called Dream with Me (Sueña Conmigo), which will start shooting this summer. There are others in progress. We are working a lot in this area.”
Televisa’s teen-targeted catalogue is also a priority for the international market. Sahab says that it’s not only a key focus to get these titles onto broadcasters globally, but also to develop the full scope of the business around them. “We started with a lot of success with Patito Feo about four years ago; this made us see that there is huge business with these kinds of telenovelas for ancillary rights—merchandising, licensing, live concerts, music, magazines. This is an area of our business that we’re developing.”
Sahab highlights the new teen titles Miss XV and CQ. “We are really betting a lot on this genre; we believe in it very much and have a great team working on this area.”
Other priorities for Televisa in Europe include increasing format sales, building up the digital business and continuing the focus on branded content. Sahab notes that Televisa has an extensive catalogue for branded content in Mexico that has been received with much success. “Now we’re going to export it, too! That’s another trend.”

She continues, “As you can see, there are many things going on for Televisa in Europe; many different areas that we’re working on. We have to keep moving. We are not only sellers of content, now we are business managers and business developers. We have to develop business here; that’s our goal, that’s what we’re trying to achieve.”