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STS does as the U.S. does but with different products.

Spanish Television Services, Inc. (STS) and Silvio Berlusconi's new co-production of Beyond The Horizon, a Spanish language soap opera produced in Argentina, clears a path for other Latin American productions to follow - a path learned from the success of American TV shows in Latin America.

"Most programs produced in Latin America don't travel well (to the other Latin American territories), because of the many varieties of Spanish," said Hector Llorens, President of STS, a production and distribution company with headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Miami, Florida "Every country has its own slang. This is most evident in comedy - a joke in Argentina isn't understood in Venezuela. It is easy for American product to go into every territory, because their films and TV shows are dubbed in a |neutral' Spanish. The reason our last two productions did so well is because we used this |neutral' Spanish.

The Mysterious Lady, a telenovela produced by STS, is watched by two million people weekly in Argentina and is aired in every Latin American territory. It is also broadcast in Europe, and received Italy's Telegatto award.

STS and Berlusconi will produce 170 episodes of Beyond The Horizon, which began production early this month. "For us this is very important," said Llorens." Berlusconi is one of the most powerful people in series television. We're a small company if you compare us with Venevision, Televisa or TV Globo; they produce 20 soap operas a year, and we produce only one. But we take a lot of time with our production. Because of the care and the time we take, we have had a very good reception from Latin American people and from Europe." A synopsis, brochure and video of the first shows of Beyond The Horizon will be available at NATPE.

"The development of cable and satellite will further open up the Latin American market to American and European product more than to Latin American product," said Llorens, "with the exception of family programs, because life in Latin America is vastly different from family life in North America." However, North American producers might have something to learn from their South American counterparts.

"Latin American production is best for the soap opera format," Llorens, citing the co-production with Berlusconi as proof. "Most stories last less than a year, as compared to 10-20 years for an American soap opera. Americans are now going to test the short novela to see if American people like the format."
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Title Annotation:A World of Hispanic TV; Spanish Television Services Inc.produces Latin American soap operas
Publication:Video Age International
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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