The government of Brazil has just launched its international Public Broadcasting Service with the initial purpose of penetrating the African continent, more precisely the former Lusitanian Empire where Portuguese is spoken.
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva officially launched the international Brazil TV channel from the Itamaraty Palace, seat of Foreign Affairs Ministry with the presence of representatives of the African community.
During the launch of the new channel Lula called the public TV of “My TV.” “I used to complain a lot with Franklin (Martins, Minister of Social Communication), “I used to say, but boy, you are so big and you cannot make my TV international. I’m leaving in seven months and perhaps I won’t see the full integration of our television. I would like to see it before leaving the government,” said the president.
Lula deflected criticism that TV Brasil had a strong influence of government. “You can make a quality TV that is not pro-government, but it’s not just opposition either. A TV that has insights to make correct political analysis. That tells the facts like they are without fear of displeasing or pleasing anybody. We want a TV that can show overseas a Brazil like it in fact is.”
According to the Brazilian presidency website, the Brazil TV will cater to the almost three million Brazilians living overseas.
The signal is expected to reach 49 African countries including those were Portuguese is the main language, Angola, Mozambique, Cabo Verde, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea and Santo Tomé and Principe.
The signal in Portuguese language follows on the steps of other public broadcasting services such as Italy’s RAI; Britain’s BBC; Spain’s TVE; France’s TV5 and NHK from Japan.
The Brazilian government has signed a contract with the African pay TV operator Africa-Multichoice to distribute the signal.
Brazil already has an international television channel but it is private and belongs to the powerful media group Globo.
The government has announced that it intends to take TV Brazil “soon” to the United States, where most of the Brazilian expats are, as well as to the Japan, Europe and several countries in Latin America.