Uruguay's national TV production is not experiencing its best period currently, and the Argentinian industry has taken the opportunity to expand its companies throughout its neighbouring country.
Argentina's audiovisual producers were cited by a recent study of the Format Recognition and Protection Association (FRAPA) as the leading export companies in Latin America's TV market, only surpassed worldwide by the UK, the US and the Netherlands. Now, a Uruguayan study supported by the Friedrich Ebert foundation says that over 50% of entertainment free-to-air broadcasts in Uruguay are produced in Argentina.
According to the report, Uruguay's prime-time slots are filled with news programmes, Argentinian shows and US' series – which currently represent 30% of the fiction broadcast. But the southern country is also growing in this field. Argentina's fiction already represents 11% of the Uruguayan schedule, while series and films produced by the whole Latin American region represent 16%. The local productions represent a small 4%.
The study analysed the offer of the four free-to-air Uruguayan channels — one public (TNU) and three private (Montecarlo, Saeta and Teledoce). The tendency is the same for all of them and not even the public channel reaches 50% of national production in its schedule.
According to the analysts who wrote the report, Edison Lanza, Rosario Radakovich and Gustavo Buquet, "national fictions didn't succeed in Uruguayan TV and were cancelled". The national production is centred on news and journalistic formats "which are cheaper compared to other genres".