Brazil’s Public TV Will Target 3 Million Brazilians Overseas

TV Brasil Tereza Cruvinel, the chairwoman of Brazilian state-owned communications company Empresa Brasil de Comunicação (EBC), announced Thursday, October 15, during an event at the Brazilian foreign office (Itamaraty), in Rio, the creation of an international channel by TV Brasil.

The new channel will target Brazilian emigrants, who currently total approximately 3 million, according to the government. Africa should be the first continent to receive the broadcasts, in 2010.

"It is going to be a channel with a schedule adjusted to the local times of the countries that will receive the broadcasts and with contents geared towards the Brazilian audience living abroad," said Cruvinel, during the 2nd Conference of Brazilian Communities Living Abroad.

According to the chairwoman, TV Brasil Internacional should operate by cable or subscription, with broadcasts scheduled to start next year. The programming grid should include shows screened in Brazil, adapted to local times, in addition to other contents made for the emigrants, some with their collaboration.

"The audience is as Brazilian as we are. Thus, same as the Brazilians have channels for communicating with the EBC, we want to create something like an e-mail address so that they may send guidelines, videos and suggestions," she explained.

The Brazilian minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, believes that by means of a Brazilian public television abroad, the government may expand its dialogue with the its nationals living abroad, favoring the promotion of consular services and of campaigns, such as encouraging participation in elections and education, through distance learning courses, for instance.

A resident of Orlando, in Florida, the Brazilian journalist Paulo Corrêa celebrates the initiative and calls for shows featuring Brazilian cuisine on TV, regional varieties and Brazilian culture in general.

"We cannot remain held hostage to Brazilian commercial television channels here," he claimed. "We want our children to become familiar with more diversity from Brazil, with the Brazilian people, rather than only with the soap operas show," he criticized.

The chairwoman of EBC stated that due to logistics issues pertaining to satellite availability, Africa should be the first continent to receive TV Brasil's international channel. However, according to her, reaching America is also part of the plans. For such, she called on the support of the National Congress and of the Ministry of Foreign Relations.

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