By Leah Hochbaum Rosner
Late last year, Venezuela’s RCTV Internacional, a cable TV network headquartered in Caracas, made headlines when the Venezuelan government refused to renew RCTV’s broadcast license claiming that the station played a role in a coup that briefly overthrew the country’s government. The company may have lost its free over-the-air signal, but that didn’t put it out of business. In summer 2007, RCTV took the network’s programming to cable and satellite. DirecTV Latin American and RCTV inked a deal for the satellite service to transmit RCTV’s shows to subscribers in Venezuela and across the globe. Following the DirecTV agreement came deals with a series of national cable operators, including Venezuela’s Inter (formerly known as InterCable or Net Uno). Since its successful rise from the almost-dead, RCTV has reportedly become the most watched channel on cable — despite being on cable. Guadalupe D’Agostino, vice president and general manager of RCTV Internacional’s distribution unit, which is based near Miami, Florida, spoke to VideoAge about the firm’s plans for MIP-TV and why RCTV is “in it for the long haul.”
VideoAge International: What product will you be bringing to MIP-TV?
Guadalupe D’Agostino: This year, what we have to offer is very special [for us]. We are presenting our new successful titles The Lady and Passionate Revenge. The Lady comes from the pen of telenovela genius Jose Ignacio Cabrujas. And Passionate Revenge is based on the book “La Trepadora” by Romulo Gallegos. We’re also offering Don Amor from Canal 13 de Chile and our variety programs Sabrosa Pasion and Venakite.
VAI: Why do you feel that MIP-TV is an important market for RCTV to attend?
GD: We’ve been coming to MIP-TV since the very beginning of RCTV. We get to meet with our top clients and friends from around the world for some serious contract negotiations.
VAI: Of all the markets that RCTV attends, where does MIP-TV stand on the scale of importance? Why?
GD: MIP-TV is one of the most important markets for sales in territories like Eastern, Central and Western Europe, as well as Asia and Africa. The market is a unique platform to successfully meet with our clients and friends in those regions.
VAI: What are you most looking forward to at the market?
GD: Offering our clients the latest news, views and insight from our content distribution, as well as the commitment of our production company to further evolve and produce more telenovelas according to the needs of the international market. In addition to the telenovelas I already mentioned, we’ll be offering new formats, as well.
VAI: With all the changes at RCTV in the last year, what will your main focus be at MIP?
GD: I’m so glad you asked this question. There has been a misunderstanding among many people who think we no longer have a network. We are indeed operating as a production company and cable network. We never stopped the production of quality products — not even for a single day. The RCTV family continues united, strong and very optimistic as to the fruits and promises of our cable signal project. The recent development of the cable signal allows us to further evolve and produce more telenovelas in line with the needs of the international marketplace. RCTV is here with our audiences for the long haul!