Rebeca Duran

Rebeca Duran

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


Children's Television in Brazil

Rebeca Duran

Rebeca Duran

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


Brazilian children are big fans of television shows and cartoons, but not all of them have access to cable TV. That's why open television channels provide special children programming. This article gives an overview of children's television culture in Brazil.

Brazilian kids are the ones that most watch television in the whole world. According to a survey performed by Sophia Mind – a company of market survey – 86% of Brazilian kids watches on average 3.7 hours of television per day. A group of 1,164 mothers with children from 1 to 10 years was interviewed in order to understand the habits of children related to children's television programming.

When questioned if there is any program that they forbid their children from watching, 46% of mothers answered that those containing scenes of sex and violence, like reality shows and soap operas were forbidden. While 19% of them said that children are not prohibited from watching any television program at all.

The survey also found out that DVDs appear as the most watched option by children (59%), but cable TV (51%) and free-to-air TV (44 %) were the second and third, respectively, most chosen options. This reveals the importance of a proper children programming in the country.

Cable TV versus Free-to-air TV

But not all Brazilian children have access to cable TV: in the country only 10.87 million of homes has access to it, which represents 18.8% (35.9 million) of the whole Brazilian population. The North, Northeast and Center West regions, with the exemption of Amazonas and the Federal District, still have less homes with cable TV access than the national average of 32,5%.

From the five states with an average as a high as the national one, two of them are located in the Southeast region (Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo), another two in the South (Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina), and the last one is located in Center West (Federal District). This reveals an economic inequality existent between the Brazilian regions and the cable TV access, showing the importance of the existence of good free-to-air TV programming for children.

Free-to-air TV Channels

The lack of children programming isn't a problem for the Brazilian, big quantity of open channels provide special hours during the day designated only to this public, big channels like TV Globo, SBT, Record, Band, Rede TV and TV Cultura are some of them.

TV Globinho (TV GLOBO)

TV Globinho is a popular children's television program intended to broadcast cartoons. It was responsible for the introduction of several cartoons and animes only broadcast on cable TV to open television. Cartoons like Dragon Ball Z and GT, Digimon, Beyblade, Yu-Gi-Oh!, SpongeBob Square Pants, The Fairly Odd Parents, The Penguins of Madagascar, The Simpsons, Totally Spies and Dungeons and Dragons.

The show gave also space to live action shows, such as Dragon Knight, Wizards of Waverly Place, Power Rangers, Kenan & Kel, Drake & Josh, ICarly and others. TV Globinho went off the air in 2000, losing place to a talkshow, which caused a great uproar among the Brazilian public.

Bom Dia e Companhia (SBT)

Bom Dia e Companhia is known for featuring cartoons such as Dragon Ball, Ben 10, The Powerpuff Girls, Thundercats, Tom & Jerry, Naruto, Winx Club, Scooby-Doo, Looney Tunes, X-Men Evolution, Static Shock and many. Often coming to rival other children's programs, Bom Dia e Companhia is very popular and it's uninterruptedly been on air since 1993, in the morning from monday to friday.

Among his best-known presenters are Eliana and the clowns Bozo and Patati Patatá. Currently the program displays evidence interacting with viewers via phone connections allowing them to win prizes such as computers, video games and toys.

Actual Cartoons on Air

  • The Amazing World of Gumball
  • Max Adventures
  • Ben 10: Omniverse
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated
  • Justice League Unlimited
  • Static Shock
  • Generator Rex
  • X-Men Evolution.

Band Kids (BAND)

Band Kids began as a program dedicated to animes broadcast during the afternoons of Band. Animes like Dragon Ball Z, Bucky, El-Hazard, Tenchi Muyo and Saint Seiya were a few attractions. The show was presented by several presenters including the singe Kelly Key. The was off the air for a few time and and then returned to make a success with the exhibition of cartoons and sitcoms from Nickelodeon, beating other popular children's programs from other open channels.

Actual Series and Cartoons on Air

  • Popeye
  • Victorious
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012 TV series)
  • Supah Ninjas
  • ICarly
  • Transformers: Prime
  • The Simpsons
  • Futurama.

TV Cultura and Good Children Programming

A big part of the cartoons and shows on air in TV Globinho, Bom Dia e Companhia and Band Kids are foreign productions, that were bought from cable channels and displayed infree-to-air ones, which doesn't really encourage the national production. But TV Cultura has a different approach. The channel has also been concerned with national production and with the content provided on their shows. The channel has always displayed a very unique type of children's programming.

Most of the shows and cartoons presented have educational purposes and were always very popular and watched by many Brazilian children. For children and youth, the Rede Globo and TV Cultura joined to the Sesame Workshop to produce the Brazilian version of the American Sesame Street, here in Brazil called Vila Sésamo from 1972 to 1977.

Educational Programs and Cartoons

Soon, TV Cultura has become an expert in children's educational programs. Many of them won awards and were displayed in other countries. Shows like the ones below were very famous:

  • Program Ra-Tim-Bum: received the award of APCA beyond the gold medal in Festival of New York. The show was performed by actors and was composed by different stories and situations.
  • Castelo Ra-Tim-Bum: was the children's most successful show of TV Cultura. The characters of it earned shows, magazines, games and a feature film. The show was performed by actors and told the story of Nino, a 300 year old boy who lived with his uncle, Dr. Victor, and aunt, Morgana, both wizards. The three lived in a castle in the city of São Paulo.
  • Catavento: won the Japan Prize awarded by state television NHK.
  • Cocoricó: was a children's program which uses puppets as characters, and is also one of the biggest hits of the channel, turned to small children.

Currently , TV Cultura displays a very diverse children programming, from 8 am to 11:30 am and from 2 pm to 7:30 pm from Monday to Friday.

Brazilian Cartoons Exported to Abroad

Even though the Brazilian children programming is predominantly foreign, some national shows and cartoons were exported to abroad. The Brazilian animation Peixonauta – known as Fishtronaut, produced by TV PinGuim, has been marketed in Latin America, in the United States and in Canada. The program was also sold to Israel, New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea and to all countries that speak Arabic language. The Airlines TAP and TAM were also interested by the Fishtronaut and exhibit the show as entertainment for children during their flights.

Another cartoon, named in Brazil as Meu AmigãoZão and abroad as My Big Big Friend, is a co-production between the Brazilian producer 2DLab and the Canadian producer Breakthrough Films & Television. The show has been transmitted by Discovery Kids in Latin America since last year and in 2013 started to be also displayed in Canada and United States.

Other Brazilian shows were also sold to foreign channels, like:

  • Princesas do Mar, known abroad as Sea Princesses
  • Castelo Ra-Tim-Bum.