Televisa Collaborating on Two Telenovelas for Chinese Market

Product placement plays a big role in "Palabra de Mujer" and "For Love or Money."

Mexico City -- Mexican media giant Televisa is collaborating on two new telenovela projects to air in the Chinese market.

Hong Kong's King Vision will wrap production in September on the Televisa format Palabra de Mujer (Shui Jie Nv Ren Xim in Mandarin), which will be transmitted across four regional Chinese networks next year.

Additionally Televisa has teamed up with Daye Media for the production of Hasta que el Dinero nos Separe (For Love or Money), which is slated to begin production later this year. As Televisa has done on its previous two telenovela projects in China, it provides the format, acts as a consultant and promotes the programs' product placement campaigns.

Product placement plays a big part in Televisa's business plan in China. Francisco Ortiz, Televisa's representative for the Asian market, said that For Love or Money is set at an auto dealership, giving it a "huge opportunity" to cash in on product placement, as did the Chinese versions of Dumb Girls Don't go to Heaven and Ugly Betty. Ugly Wudi, as Betty was called in China, ran for four seasons. 

Palabra de Mujer, a soap that revolves around four women who form a television production company, is expected to reach an audience of about 20 million viewers. Apple and Nissan are on board for product placement.

Also in the works with CCTV is a localized version of Distilling Love, a melodrama centering on a family of tequila producers. Ortiz said they are looking at how to adapt the program for the Chinese market using a non-tequila theme.