Globo Domination

03/26/2012 § Deixe um comentário

Logo of Rede Globo since 2008, designed by Han...

Logo of Rede Globo since 2008, designed by Hans Donner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From early 1970s to late 1980s, Globo dominated both the audience and the development of television programming. It had a 60-80% share in major cities at any given time. As television researcher Joseph Straubhaar declared, “even people who might have had questions about the news almost always accepted the Globo novelas”. During this period, Globo was accused of being the mouthpiece of the dictatorship, mainly because of its omission in covering the Diretas Já movement, in which thousands of Brazilians gathered on public squares to demand a direct election for President. In 1980, Tupi went bankrupt and was closed by the military government. Its signal was split and given to Silvio Santos, who launched SBT, and Adolpho Bloch, who launched Rede Manchete. Since Tupi’s disappearance, Globo virtually dominated the market alone. The only time its leadership was threatened was when Manchete aired Pantanal in 1990. Nevertheless, Manchete never achieved the same success with any other of its telenovelas, and would have the same fate of Tupi, ceasing its operations on May 1999, and having its signal replaced by that of RedeTV!.

With Globo dominating the ratings, other broadcast television networks found themselves pursuing smaller, more specific audience segments largely defined by social class. SBT targeted lower middle class, working class and poor audiences, mostly with variety and game shows, in addition to soaps imported from Mexico’s Televisa. This strategy gained it a consistent second place in ratings for most of the 1980s and 1990s. On the other hand, Manchete initially targeted a more elite audience, with news, high budget telenovelas, and imported programs, but found the segment too small to gain an adequate advertiser support. Bandeirantes tended to emphasize news, public affairs and sports. All three ultimately wished to pursue a general audience with general appeal programming, such as telenovelas, but discovered that such efforts would not generate an audience sufficient to pay for the increased programming costs.

In 1984, Globo initially supported the military government against Diretas Já, a popular campaign for the direct election of a civilian government, while other television networks, most notably Manchete, supported the change. Perceiving that it might literally lose its audience to competitors, Globo switched sides and supported the transition to a civilian regime, which was indirectly elected in a compromise situation. The new political circumstances immediately reduced political censorship and pressure on broadcasters.

In the 1990s, UHF television channels were launched, such as music oriented MTV Brasil, and the Catholic channel Rede Vida. Also during that period, TV Cultura and Rede Record, both based in São Paulo, began to air their signal in national broadcasting systems.

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