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March 30, 2009



Wait, Brazilians don't speak Spanish?

Maciel Grecco

It doesn't happen only to HBO. It's common in Warner and Sonny Channels (at least, the channels I watch most) to see pieces of text in the internal ads mixing Portuguese with Spanish. In both channels, the edition people are really not concerned to checking this or making it with accuracy. Terrible to see that.


You should definitely send this post to HBO's marketing department. It wouldn't surprise me if they do not know that Brazilians don't speak Spanish. Seriously.

Eduardo Sant'Anna

Oh yeah, it always makes the difference to speak at least a little bit of the local language. It shows respect, and that is for any country.

Regarding television, the premium HBO channels (i.e. HBO and HBO2) used to have a specific broadcast and program schedule to Brazil in the past, separated from the rest of Latin America. So, they definitelly know that Brazilians speak portuguese. The HBO channels actually had a famous Brazilian movie critic (Rubens Ewald Filho) as Director.

But unfortunately it seems they decided to do a single channel for the entire continent, obviously for economic reasons.

Maciel Grecco commented here about Sony and Warner Channel, and they are actually both distributed by HBO Brasil/HBO latin america as well. HBO, HBO2, HBO Plus, Cinemax, The Biography channel, A&E, History Channel, AXN, E!... They are all "HBO channels" in Latin America. People+Arts is owned by Discovery and BBC and is a fairly new channel. It was probably born with a different concept.

So, aparently it doesn't make economic sense for HBO Latin America to have every one of these nearly 15 channels duplicated (i.e.: more equipment, more people, more satellite utilization...) just for Brazil. They transmit the same channel with ads in spanish + portuguese and simply put a separate audio and/or subtitles for Brazil.

It really is a shame and looks lazy. But although Brazil is a huge country, unfortunatelly only a very small percentage of the households have cable/satellite TV. It's something like 5-10% of Brazilian households (as opposed to 95-99% in the US).

It seems it's not worthy for them. :-(


Amen to that! Portuguese is spoken by more people in the world than Spanish! You would never know it in the US. Thanks for your post :)


Right on, thanks for this great posting!
When I first moved to the US, I was shocked how everybody just assumed I spoke Spanish. Even the Hispanic people would approach me speaking Spanish without even asking me. And when I said I spoke Portuguese, many of them would laugh and say "that's the same thing".

Alexandre Macedo

Um dado importante e que deve, provavelmente, ser ignorado pelas emissoras: A população brasileira(aprox. 190.000.000 de habitantes) representa rigorosos 1/3 de toda a população da América latina(América do Sul, América Central e México).
Acredito que o fator de maior relevância para esse "descuido" seja a participação minoritária das Tv's à cabo em relação ao universo de potenciais telespectadores, estes, em ampla maioria conectados as Tv's abertas e falando na língua-mãe.
Aproveito o assunto para abordar um outro aspecto, quase imperceptível para a maioria dos assinantes de tv´s a cabo: A "onipresença" de propagandas e programas exclusivamente voltados para a comercialização de produtos, ocupando a grade de programação e restringindo o cardápio de opções.
Para refletir: -"O espaço ocupado pelos comerciais já não fora pago pela minha assinatura?..."; -"Meu objetivo não era o de obter uma programação alternativa que proporcionasse liberdade, sem essa 'opressão' comercial?"...
Abraço a todos.


Regarding Warner and Sony, they both have headquarters in Brazil. Plus, HBO definitely knows we speak Portuguese since it invests heavily in the Brazilian marketing and tries desperately to outshadow Telecine. A proof of that is how much they invest in production here. The budget for Alice, Mandrake and Filhos do Carnaval is about 1 million reais per episode believe it or not. It seems quite stupid to invest so heavily in this market and not even bother to translate commercials properly.

Maciel Grecco

Yes Eduardo. It's an economic case but I also ad lack of respect and disregard, cause it's common in the internal ads in Portuguese of Wraner or Sonny such things like this:

Ella non sabe a verdad
In febrero, nueva programação

Pure portunõl. It's a lame but it's funny because they're the first channels to assume Portunõl as the official language sometimes. Lazy editors? Lack of a bilingual team? After all, Portuguese and Spanish are the same languages, as someone said above. Or as an American friend used to make fun with me, "oh, no worries, you all speak Mexican, from Texas border to Patagonia". I used to replied: "oh, no worries for you too, you all speak cherokee".


Rachel, até onde eu sei, a People & Arts é um canal localizado em Caracas, na Venezuela, e que transmite programas de canais norte-americanos, principalmente da NBC. Algumas inserções comerciais, mesmo aqui no Brasil, estão em espanhol, acho que é porque vem direto de Caracas e os caras não dublam e tal.

Aliás, um programa que faz muito sucesso é aquele programa do Ty, o Extreme Make-Over. É curioso como a figura dele é bem chamativa aqui no Brasil, todos acabam gostando dele. Muitos com os quais conversei nem sabem o nome do programa, só falam, "ah, agora vou ver o Ty", e o cara acaba fugindo daquele estereótipo de americano que brasileiro muitas vezes tanto repudia, e até tira sarro.



Some days ago I posted a comment about my feelings of the US, referring to themselves as America and forgetting that is a name the comprises a whole continent. I saw it posted immediately... and now I can't find it.
I may accept my comment wasn't welcomed, but I think it was rude from you to delete it without an explanation, to say the least.

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