Record sale of ‘Ten Commandments’ to TV Brasil is unprecedented

It is true that Record, a broadcaster allied with the Bolsonaro government, sells “The Ten Commandments” to the international market for a much better price than R $ 3.2 million, a cost announced by TV Brasil in the Official Gazette for the acquisition of the soap opera’s licensing Bible, which opens on Monday (5) through the public network supported by the federal government of Bolsonaro.

Diluting this sum by 242 chapters, we will have each episode worth R $ 13.2 thousand.

The question is: what other open broadcaster would buy a biblical soap opera that was seen in 2015 and 2016 and replayed between 2017 and 2018 by a much wider reach network in the country itself?

It is common for public TVs to redisplay or divide the costs of series between them or purchase productions seen by a small scale of public on closed TV, giving the people, as indicated by the “public” character, the chance to see something previously restricted to a minority that I could pay for it.

It is very exceptional, in Brazil, for a public TV to present something that has already been seen by commercial open TV, and this becomes something unprecedented when talking about a religious nature.

In the case of TV Brasil, the purchase of a soap opera is an unprecedented fact. Questioned through its press office, TV Brasil informs that this is the first soap opera acquired by the public broadcaster, but the channel has already acquired productions “from Grupo Globo”, TV Cultura and the National Public Communication Network.

The blog asked back which Grupo Globo productions the channel showed, but has not yet received a response. Titles such as “Detectives do Prédio Azul – DPA” or “Valentins” were only presented by Gloob, Grupo Globo’s paid children’s channel, and are on GloboPlay for subscribers. It is a completely different situation from “The Ten Commandments”.

Not to say that there was never a commercial open TV production shown on public TV, yes, there was “O Sítio do Picapau Amarelo”, in the version made between 2001 and 2007, acquired by TV Cultura in 2013. But, at the time, Cultura announced that the exhibition was conditional on the assignment to Globo Internacional’s channels of rights over the exhibition of “Castelo Rá-Tim-Bum” and “Cocoricó”, at no cost to the coffers of the broadcaster, funded by the State of São Paulo .

Globo also exhibited first hand the Telecurso 2º Grau, distance learning course for adults, funded by the Roberto Marinho Foundation, which Cultura presented almost simultaneously, under the proposal to include educational content in its programming. Again, Globo ceded the rights to Culture.

Cultura also exhibits several children’s productions that have already been seen by Discovery Kids, as it currently presents a series already shown by GNT, “Três Terezas”, with Denise Fraga, and “Poetry with Maria Bethânia”, but, again, from Arte 1, paid channel.

It is normal for an open window without resources for large expenses to be interested in showing second-hand productions that were only seen through windows of smaller and more elitist reach – hence the name and vocation of those who call themselves pubic TV.

Although the cost of R $ 13.2 thousand per chapter is low for its value in the international market, the blog was unable to draw parallels for the case of “The Ten Commandments” precisely because of the lack of precedents, that is, of a production of Open TV sold to another open TV in the country.

“We are looking for alternatives to fulfill our mission,” explained Denilson Morales, Director of Content and Programming at TV Brasil. “One of them was to encourage national production (those that are in collections) and give visibility to great works, licensing cutting-edge products from other broadcasters and content distributors in the country, such as the soap opera ‘Os Dez Mandamentos’, which was the case of success on Brazilian TV and will be reviewed here on TV Brasil, a channel that has grown in audience and relevance over the years ”, he added, in a release distributed by the broadcaster at the time of the announcement.

But the situation of TV Brasil is far from showing relevance to the public. As reported in a discussion on Twitter, Communications Minister Fábio Faria, EBC, Empresa Brasil de Comunicações, which houses TV Brasil, has a loss of R $ 550 million annually, which would make its sale to the private sector unfeasible, such as the government. Bolsonaro threatened to do it.

The cost of a novel depends not only on its success in audience, but on its production time and how many times it has been shown in that territory, in an open or closed channel.

Multishow paid US $ 300 thousand a year for about 600 episodes of “Chaves” and “Chapolin” when the dollar was R $ 3.80. Even considering that the package foresaw unpublished productions of some episodes, the content was already old and had been on display in Brazil for at least three decades, by SBT, an open network with a much greater reach than Grupo Globo’s paid channel.

Given the success that “The Ten Commandments” found in its original exhibition, taking a relevant slice of Globo’s audience during prime time, and also in its replay, as well as in other countries, such as Argentina and Chile, it is expected that Moses again find an audience capable of raising TV Brasil’s audience ratings.

The question is whether this will be reversed in sponsorships and advertisements that exempt Brazilian citizens from paying for something that they have already had a chance to see. TV Brasil did not answer this question. More than that, “The Ten Commandments” is something that has already been paid for and does not need public funds, unlike dozens of Brazilian educational and cultural productions that await a chance to be contemplated.

But the mamata (for the others) is over.

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