Globo and Christ Redeemer and Dinner
By: Skyler C. DeWalt, Smith MBA Candidate, 2018
Yesterday was an enjoyable conclusion to the field component of our program, and it was packed with business and cultural experiences.
In the morning, we learned about Rede Globo, the largest free-to-air television provider and perhaps the most influential media company in Brazil. Its television channels reach half of all Brazilians (100 million total viewers) each day—roughly the viewership of the Super Bowl in the United States. Aside from owning the rights to major sporting events and providing news programing, Globo also develops telenovelas, television programs that contribute to a shared cultural experience in Brazil. Unlike soap operas or television series, they typically run for only a few months, in the evenings from Monday through Friday. As consumers of American television, it was also surprising to learn that storylines are typically not fully developed before the show begins airing. Producers adjust the program based on viewer feedback, which can occasionally lead to major shifts in cast and storyline in only a week’s time.
We learned about how the network has used its influence in achieving positive social outcomes and pushing progressive change. For example, one telenovela featured a character with leukemia and included a call for blood donations, leading to an incredible surge in donations in Brazil. Globo has also featured diverse casting in prominent roles, including LGBT characters and persons with disabilities.
Our host also allowed us to tour some of the sets on Globo’s gigantic production lot. The photo below is from an ambitious medieval-themed project currently in production.
We spent the rest of our final day soaking up as much of Brazil as time allowed. In the afternoon, we visited one of the most recognizable landmarks in South America, the Christ the Redeemer statue. Later, we had a farewell dinner in Rio de Janeiro featuring, of course, caipirinhas and Samba music. While we’ve had a lot of fun experiencing Brazil, the field component of our program taught us far more about global business than we could have ever hoped to learn in only a classroom. Thank you for following along!