The African distributor which bolsters Brazilian catalogue adds original programming. Cote Ouest, it the first to bring Latin American telenovelas to Africa has re-upped its deal with Globo TV until 2023. The deal provides Cote Ouest the position as sole distributor of the programming in Africa and French overseas territories.
The deal builds on a relationship that the companies forged 17 years ago. Pointing toward Brazil’s rich cultural ties to the continent, Cote Ouest CEO Bernard Azria said the company was renewing its partnership “with an international studio that in my view is the best placed to understand and serve a continent of 1.2 billion. They’ve got content that resonates with the culture of the African population,” he said. “It’s written in the Globo DNA.”
Along with the distribution deal, Latin America’s biggest broadcaster has enlisted Cote Ouest in its search for potential co-production partners on the continent, according to Azria. It’s a move that points to Globo’s growing desire to become a major international co-production player, while recognizing that, in the Cote Ouest topper’s words, “Africa is the next El Dorado.”
The vast Globo catalog offers Cote Ouest plenty of options to look at how series can travel in different ways. With “Mister Brau,” a popular musical sitcom about a black Brazilian pop star who moves into an upper-class white neighborhood, Azria is exploring whether to dub the series into French and English or adapt it and rewrite the script for African territories. The two companies are also working together to develop formats that can be sold to local producers.
For Cote Ouest, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, the key to another successful 25 years is finding ways to capitalize on a TV market that’s increasingly global. “Making content that is able to travel all over the world is crucial. The future of independent African production is outside the continent.” Azria said.