SPTI takes 50% stake in Colombia's Teleset

Acquisition a move to expand Latin American prod'n

MEXICO CITY -- Sony Pictures Television International has acquired a 50% stake in Colombian TV shingle Teleset in a move to expand production throughout Latin America and the U.S. Latino market.

Since 1995, Teleset has developed and produced more than 2,000 hours of scripted and unscripted content, making it one of Colombia's largest independent TV production houses. Financial details were not disclosed in SPTI's Wednesday announcement.

In recent years, Colombia has become an important production hub for Spanish-language broadcasters. NBC Universal's Telemundo produces hundreds of hours of programming out of its Bogota-based studio and Fox International Channels has stepped up production under a new partnership dubbed Fox Telecolombia. SPTI and Teleset were working together prior to the acquisition.

Teleset has produced numerous international formats for Colombian broadcasters, including local versions of "Power of 10," "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" and "Survivor." Additionally, Teleset produces telenovelas, the bread and butter of Spanish-language programming grids.

SPTI senior vp Brendan Fitzgerald sees tremendous potential under the Teleset partnership.

"Teleset's outstanding track record in the region and (SPTI's) global production and distribution expertise are complimentary," Fitzgerald said. "So this fits our strategy for growing our production business in the region."