The owner of TVI announced on 24 May the celebration of a memorandum of understanding with CNN for a licensing agreement that foresees the creation of CNN Portugal.
“We have been working on this project for a few months now, we certainly intend in the last quarter of this year to be on air”, said Mário Ferreira on TVI’s Jornal das 8.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Media Capital added that he is dependent on ERC’s authorisation for the ‘rebranding’ of TVI24, as this “is important”, as “it is part of the contract with CNN”.
Only after “that authorisation will we be working 100 percent on the transition, which we hope will start soon and that we will be able to give the opportunity - because you cannot make a 24-hour channel without more means - to new collaborators that may enter and that some of them may even be talents to be discovered”, stated the businessman.
The agreement with CNN “initially translates into a ‘rebranding’ of the channel that we have for news, TVI24, but in truth, in Portugal at this moment, there is no channel that truly transmits news 24 hours”, continued Mário Ferreira, who was elected chairman of Media Capital on 24 November last year.
“It translates into a change of name, a change of paradigm in terms of the work that will be done here in terms of design, image, which was being done, in fact, since the beginning of the year and since the arrival of Anselmo Crespo [information director] and this new set of shareholders, and also in a great improvement of the channel”, he underlined.
This agreement also reflects “the search by this dynamic group of shareholders, in a certain way ambitious and demanding, that would like to see a channel and a news brand in the country that goes beyond the journalistic quality that we have today on TVI24”.
Mário Ferreira underlined that CNN “evaluated the quality of the work that was being done, the journalistic quality, the human resources” of Media Capital.
“The ERC, last week, was duly informed by our lawyers of what would be happening and the negotiations that would be involved, as Media Capital is a listed company, this is a relevant act, it had to be kept relatively secret in a restricted group of people”, he added.
The agreement “brings from the outset a reinforcement of the values in which we believe, it also brings, not only for Media Capital, but for Portugal and for the professionals who work here, an enhancement because we will have an open window to the world, we will have permanent access to the CNN database”.
“We want to send a message that we want to reinforce credibility, reinforce quality, reinforce independence, reinforce the image that we want to cover Portugal, we want to create a television that, although it has a strong worldwide brand, we can create for the Portuguese the possibility that if there is a catastrophe during the night, turn on the television or go and turn on CNN Portugal because you know that we will have someone there”, he added.