Cultural Advantage Reversal: the Case of Telenovelas in Brazil



At several points in the first part of the book, we emphasized how rapid has been the growth of the mass-media in developing countries over the past ten to fifteen years. Such rapidity, we further suggested, was due both to developments in information technology (such as cable and satellite television) and a shift from a public to a commercial mode of television broadcasting. And following the prevailing view in the literature, we concluded that the extra programming capacity thus created would tend to be filled by imported serials and other low-cost programming from the developed countries, especially the United States. Indeed, it has long been

axiomatic that the international circulation of television programming occurs from north to south and from west to east: that is to say, US and, to a lesser degree, European program producers maintain their hegemony over the global television market by selling their programs at a low cost to foreign broadcasters, particularly to broadcasters in the ‘developing’ nations of Latin America, Asia, and Africa. They can do so because their production costs have been recovered in the far larger and richer domestic markets. Thus prices for foreign sales can be kept at a level low enough to discourage domestic drama production elsewhere but still high enough to be profitable to the producer. (Allen, 1995: 13)


Television Programming Previous Chapter Mass Market Soap Opera Television Serial 
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Copyright information

© Jeffrey James 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tilburg UniversityThe Netherlands

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