One cannot even begin to downplay the power of the telenovela. The popular Spanish language medium of storytelling has swept the world and is clearly on the rise. Even in South Africa, we've had our own versions of telenovela's namely iNkaba and now Isibaya.
The soap opera is steadily on the decline, especially in America. Popular soap opera's like All MY Children and One Life To Live have been cancelled. There's been budget cuts and major stars of soaps, like The Bold and the Beautiful have left the show.
So denying the rising popularity of the telenovela would be a major mistake to make.
In 2011, Fox Entertainment, then only on TopTV, aired Pasion Morena, a Mexican telenovela about a successful fashion designer who goes to Mexico to find herself after being cheated on by her fiancée. They brought other telenovela's a year later.
In the US, Univision is the leading telenovela channel, but NBCUniversal International Television has realised that they are missing out and are now out to channel Univision's dominance and what better way to do that, than to launch in Africa, the fastest developing continent.
*** Press Release***
The channel’s division of NBCUniversal International Television has announced the launch of Telemundo, the popular telenovela channel, in Africa. DStv customers across Africa will be the first ones to enjoy the channel and its passionate and dramatic telenovelas outside of Latin America.
Launching on the DStv platform on channel 118 in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa on Monday, August 12, Telemundo will exclusively air telenovelas with the tag line: “Telemundo – Feel the Passion.”
“Telenovelas are an editorial and television force internationally and we are particularly excited to bring Telemundo to Africa exclusively with DStv,” says Colin McLeod, managing director Emerging Markets, Universal Networks International. “Together we believe we can help to drive multi-channel television to an even broader market - for those who traditionally only want to watch free TV, Telemundo will give them a great reason to want DStv.”
Telemundo in Africa will be dedicated to the most compelling Spanish language telenovelas, offering DStv customers a dramatic rollercoaster of romance, mystery, action and adventure for the whole family to enjoy. Telemundo will bring the world of exotic locations and glamorous personalities into African homes.
At launch, viewers can look forward to fascinating stories of love, success and betrayal with high quality production values in telenovelas including Aurora, Precious Rose, My Heart Beats for Lolaand Behind Closed Doors.
“We are very excited to bring Telemundo to our DStv Access, Family, Compact and Premium customers, who will for the first time enjoy the best telenovelas available worldwide in English,” says Collins Khumalo, CEO of MultiChoice South Africa. “Our customers are already enjoying the entertainment on offer on the 5 Universal Networks International channels available on DStv. Telemundo is a great addition which further strengthens our partnership with Universal Networks International.”
Telemundo will be fully localised for the African market with full dubbing of Spanish-language programming in English for South African and Sub-Saharan countries, and full dubbing in Portuguese for Angola and Mozambique.