«Globo Downplays FIFA Association»


Source: Brasil 24/7

Globo, the official broadcaster of the World Cup, has already brought in R$ 1.4 billion in advertising revenues for event coverage.

Despite this, last week TV Globo issued a recommendation to its journalists to avoid “positive spin” on the event.

In a memo circulated among staff, Globo calls for balanced coverage of the championship and asks that irregularities also be covered. These guidelines appear to apply mainly to the staff of the Jornal Nacional. It is no accident that the network’s flagship news program affords daily coverage of delayed public works and the rising cost of stadiums. Continue reading

Globo | «Tax Cheat Case Remains Active »


Source: Barão de Itararé

We now have a number and a name: [Federal Police] Investigation 926 / 2013 will be commanded by federal police officer Rubens Lyra.

The headquarters of the Federal Police’s tax enforcement division, Fabio Ricardo Ciavolih Mota, confirmed to a group of Barao reporters who went to interview him: A police investigation of tax and financial crimes allegedly committed by Globo in 2002, is formally underway.

TV Globo’s financial crimes in the Virgin Islands were initially identified by an international cooperation agency. TV Globo had used a front company to acquire the rights to broadcast the 2002 World Cup, without paying taxes.  Continue reading

Ariana and Abril | Coopetition?

Captura de tela de 2014-01-29 17:26:16

Source: Observatorio da Imprensa

Translation C. Brayton

The Brazilian press has paid scant attention to the launch of the Brazilian edittion of the news aggregator Huffington Post, which will be known here in Brazil as Brasil Post.   Created by journalist and empresario Ariana Huffington, born Stassinopoulou, and acquired by AOL in 2011, the news and opinion source will partner in-country with Editora Abril.

What are the expectations of the traditional Brazilian media regarding the powerful new player?

Continue reading

GGN | The Saga of Eike Batista


Source: GGN.

It is official: OGX, the oil and gas division of the Eike Batista “X” group — EBX — has filed for bankruptcy.

In the aftermath, and in the background of the “rise and fall” narratives that proliferate  –  as Luis Nassif points out, is a metanarrative, a narration of the narrators as they narrate.

Today’s “Valor” has an article comparing the fall of industrialist Eike Batista with the flattering remarks about him by president Dilma Rousseff.

There are two moments in Eike’s life. At the pinnacle of his success, he was the foremost symbol of Brazlian entrepreneurship. After the fall from grace, he is treated as the bastard child of state capitalism. At the pinnacle, the object of the most perverse sort of cult of personality. After the fall, it is “Take the kid. He’s yours.”

The hypocrisy of the shapers of public image is just that. With success comes flattery and the hope of future partnerships. With failure, a merciless beating.

At the pinnacle, Eike was saluted by  Veja as an exemplary entrepreneur. Época magazine gave him an award. When the ship capsized, the same Época supplied a cover story saying that Eike was   a symbol of the failure of state capitalism, while  Jorge Paulo Lehmann symbolized the success of the market.  Lehmann had better not slip up, or else he will find himself subject to the same hypocrisy.

Continue reading

Rocinha | Bribes Paid in Disappearance Case?


Source: O Globo.

Military police major Edson Santos, former commander of the police pacification unit (UPP) in Rocinha, in Rio de Janerio, is suspected of diverting funds set aside for the standardization of motorcycle taxi service in the community in order to bribe witnesses who, in exchange for R$2,000 a month, would attribute the disappearance of assistant bricklayer Amarildo de Souza to the drug traffic.

The information emerged from a homicide division investigation into the disappearance of a local resident. The money comes from a company that sponsors community improvements in the area.  Continue reading

Globo and IBOPE | End of an Era?

Source: Tijolaço

Concerned by constantly falling ratings, which not even its long-standing audience measurement provider, IBOPE, is able to disguise, Globo has picked up its marbles and put an end to an initiative by the other networks to bring a new polling institute to Brazil.

The Folha de S. Paulo said today that  Globo, “which stood on the sidelines and watched the German firm GfK try to compete with Ibope in Brazil, has decided to make an approach to the potential new TV audience metrics firm.”

This is curious, given that at the beginning of the year, Globo told the Germans it had no interest in diversifying the monitoring of its audience, a job currently performed by Ibope.

Globo now has the ability to “sweeten” the pricing agreements reached with the German insitute by the other networks, becoming its primary customer, with all the privileges that come with this status.

Recall that a polling institute is a for-profit business, which survives and thrives on its contracts, and not some academic institute.

Thank you, I knew that.

The Folha reported that “GfK plans to start operations in Brazil in December” and that “it promises  to offer a broader sampling of TV audiences that is more rapid and less expensive than that provided by IBOPE.”

Is it also more trustworthy?

Globopar and the Virgins | Material Events


Source: Blog da Cidadania

Between 2001 and 2002,  Globo Comunicações e Participações Ltda. (Globopar) organized a financial scheme to acquire the transmission rights to the World Cup of 2002. The federal tax authority found the scheme to be fraudulent and criminal. The company was punished  with heavy fines and other penalties.

Globopar had acquired a company in the Virgin Islands that was dissolved just one year later. The funds traced to this company by the tax authority were used by the Marinho family holding company to pay for the transmission rights.

The tax authority brought charges against the company, finding that the transaction had resulted in the evasion of the Income Tax for Corporations [IRPJ] and demanding the payment of the principal, together with adjustment for inflation and a fine. In all, the company was presented with a bill for some R$ 600 million.

All of this took place at a time when news of Globo’s financial problems were widely reported in Brazil and around the world.

In October 2002,  Globopar, a shareholder and operator of the NET cable TV network — an asset it would later sell to the Mexican group Telmex — announced it would renegotiate the deadlines for settling the debt generated by its participation in NET.

At the time, market experts viewed the manuever as a sort of  [“blank  settlement”] by Globo.

Continue reading

The Big Payola | Globo and Banco Rural


Source: DoLaDoDeLá

We all know that at the beginning of  the 2000s, Globo Participações was on the brink of  collapse. It had tried to get the federal government to back a financial recuperation plan along the same lines as Proer, a program created by the Cardoso government to rescue banks from what used to be called “contagion” or “systemic risk.”

The proverbial “too big to fail.”

In 2004, an investment fund demanded that Globo file bankruptcy in the United States. It was then that the debt restructuring became an urgent matter. At around the time, the Marinho brothers sold off their shares in a number of repeaters and affiliates.

A supervisor of mine at the time, in an effort to convince me that the bosses were committed to jobs and salaries, said that “the poor guys” had had to give up the family helicopter — as if they had a choice between making this sacrifice or doing away with their human resources. Tell me another one … Continue reading

M&A Deals |Turner and Esporte Interativo


Source: EXAME

São Paulo – The number of M&A transactions in the Brazilian market fell 4% in the second quarter relative to the same periodin 2012. Between April and June, 213 deals were sealed, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

In the first quarter, 397 deals were announced, down 1.5% from the first quarter of 2012. The IT sector deals formed the largest bloc of transactions, with 54 deals done in the second quarter.  The services sector was close behind, with 47 deals, and 40 deals involved the retail sector.

The prospects of the 3rd quarter are most cautious, with a tendency to spend more time and analysis on transactions, possibly affecting the annual total. “We see opportunities for companies and investors that are able to take advantage of the moment to strengthen and consolidate” their businesses,” the  report said.

The magazine goes on to list the deals done.

An interesting deal I missed out on, closed June 10, 2013:

 Turner Broadcasting, the TV division of Time Warner, announced its acquisition of a minority share in the Brazilian channel Esporte Interativo (EI), which operates on the Internet as well as open to air TV broadcasting and cable TV. The deal went for R$ 80 million.

The companies did not reveal the size of the participation acquired. With this deal, Turner gains two seats on the board of directors of EI, which has 7 seats.  The Brazilian channel will continue to function as an independent company. Management decisions will remain with the original controlling group. “Pay TV is growing in Brazil and the country will host major sporting events in the next few years. This is a market we want to invest in,” said Alex González, VP Corporate Development and New Media, Latin America, to Valor.

This is the third investment of this type by Turner. In 2007, the company bought seven channels from the Claxson group of Argentina, for US$ 234 milhões. In 2010, it spent US$ 150 milhões to acquire Chilevisión. The current deal is its first direct investment in a sports channel anywhere in the world.  Turner owns transmission rights to various sports, but content is delivered on its ther channels.

The executive says the purchase of Esporte Interativo will help Turner learn more about the Brazilian market, and especially the open to air broadcasting business, where Turner had no presence until now. He says he believes that the other 13 channels that Turner owns in Brazil will results synergies  between content and publicity with the new channel.

Created in 2007, the Brazilian channel employs 350. Its audience is an estimated 33 million per month on TV and 10 milhões on the  internet.

Prior to the sale to Turner, EI was structured as follows:  A controlling bloc with 52% shared among 9 partners, a 25% bloc of other partners, a bloc of 15% owned by BNDESPar (which invested R$14 million in 2009) and 8% in the hands of the Corcovado Capital investment fund.

Diniz says none of the original partners left the company with the entry of the U.S. company. The deal results in the dilution of shares. [?]

The company has no IPO plans.

«My Dear, You Must Be Joking»

João Luiz Mauad

Instituto Millenium

Translation: C. Brayton

Friday, May 31, was another in a series of terrible days for public safety in Rio de Janeiro. First, we heard reports that various police precincts had decided to “sit on their hands,” refusing to open for business. In placing dilettantism ahead of duty, these people are an example of how vast sectors of civil servants are guided, not by principles, but by the utter lack of them. Any day of the week when police precincts are shuttered — working day, weekend or holiday — is something, not from the third world, but from the fourth, the fifth, the sixth.

On the same day, another foreign tourist was severely injured during a visit to the Rocinha shantytown, in the city’s Southern Zone. The German as shot in the arm, torso and liver. He was taking a walk through the community with a friend when he was surprised by an armed man.

As soon as I read these news, I recalled a shocking article I had read the day before, in the American magazine Slate, in which reputable journalist Anne Applebaum sings  the praises of Brazil and of Rio in particular. The title and subtitle are apologetic: “Brazil’s Special Miracle – Why aren’t Brazilians more willing to promote the secrets of their success?”

In a handful of lines and with painfully shallow knowledge of our country, the author praises Brazil’s incipient entrepreneurship, its failed ethanol program, the welfare state and the Bolsa-Família, the quality of life in the favelas, the leadership of Brazil among the so-called “nonaligned” nations and the positive example Brazil should set for other poor nations.

Frankly, Anne, you must be joking.


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