In 2013, Telemundo launched their network across sub-Saharan Africa. Expanding outside of Latin America for the first time, Africa’s version is fully dubbed in English and Portuguese, successfully drawing in the masses with their “passionate television”. With the pay TV market booming, Telemundo knows that many viewers are looking for top quality productions and can look past subtitles when the product delivers. With a huge line up, including family shows, romance stories, and action adventure, Telemundo has a network that appeals to the whole population.
So what is “passionate television”? Similar to soap operas, telenovelas are limited in their air time and rarely go over one year of production. This unique time line makes the show more appealing to follow on a regular basis –knowing that it’s airing only for a season gives it greater appeal. Without the long drawn out schedule of “endless” episodes, telenovelas pack as much punch as possible in each episode.
Why did Telemundo choose Africa as its first point of contact? Simply put, Africa has been a hot spot for many television networks over the years, including Universal Channel, E! Entertainment, and CNBC. With the expanding market of new channels and content, Telemundo recognized the potential in the area. Combined with the appetite of viewers, the network hopes to build their followers of the genre by giving them a unique and cultural diversity they have not had access to in the past.
Binge watching telenovelas may soon be the trend across Africa this year, but what are the best telenovelas of all time? Here is a top 10 list of the most popular telenovelas:
- Yo Soy Betty La Fea
- Juegos de Fuego
- La Reina del Sur
- La Patrona
- El Zorro La Espada y La Rosa
- El Clon
- Martin Rivas
- La Usurpadora
- Dos Mujeres, Un Camino
Africans are “passionate” about passionate telenovelas and 2016 has promised even more drama for their fans in this year’s lineup. So whether or not you admit to being a soap opera fan, one thing is clear, next time you turn on a TV in Africa, chances are you’ll sit through a telenovela or two!