Dori, Televisa strike telenovela deal

Dori also will launch encyclopedia site

BUENOS AIRES -- Israel-based Dori Media Group continued to build on its expanding Latin American telenovela business Tuesday with a $9.5 million deal with Spanish-language media giant Grupo Televisa.

DMG produces telenovelas in Latin America and Israel and distributes its telenovelas in more than 50 countries. It also owns and operates two TV channels dedicated to telenovelas in Israel and two channels in Indonesia.

The deal with Grupo gives the Latin American media outlet distribution and first-look format rights to Dori titles for Latin America and Europe.

Dori produces about 800 hours of programming annually, much of it from its new studio in Buenos Aires, where they film titles like "LaLola," which has already been sold in 40 countries worldwide, including the U.S.

"Telenovelas are produced in a way that keeps bringing audiences back every day. This type of loyalty is unique, and it helps generate revenue," said Michal Nashiv, the new president of Dori's Argentina operations.

Next month, the company will launch an IMDb-like encyclopedia site dedicated to telenovelas, with interactive features, videos and the latest scoop on the show's stars.

Dori's branded telenovela pages on YouTube have received more than 24 million viewers since they premiered last August. The company also plans a Web-only telenovela starring Argentine actress Natalia Oreiro.