Grupo Televisa SAB (TLEVICPO), the largest Spanish-language broadcaster, began filming a Chinese version of Latin American soap opera ``La Fea Mas Bella.''
The show is being produced in China and will air on Hunan Satellite television starting in September, Mexico City-based Televisa said in a statement today. The project, being made in partnership with Hunan, Colombia's RCN Television and China's Nesound, will cost $20 million, Televisa said.
Televisa is expanding production of its ``telenovelas'' outside Latin America in a bid to export its dominance in soap operas. The Chinese soap opera is based on ``Betty la Fea,'' a Colombian program re-made in Mexico last year and airing in the U.S. as ``Ugly Betty'' on Walt Disney Co. (DIS:US)'s ABC network.
The production is the first of several planned for China, Televisa Vice President Jose Baston said in the statement.
The Chinese version will have 400 half-hour episodes, the same as the Mexican program, the company said. Hunan Satellite reaches almost 900 million viewers, the statement said.
Televisa has an estimated 70 percent market share of viewers in Mexico, according to its October quarterly earnings statement.
Televisa shares fell 1.8 percent to 52.25 pesos in Mexico City trading. The shares are little changed this year.
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