Last year, The Economist published an article about TV Globo, Brazil’s largest broadcast network. It reported that “91 million people, just under half the population, tune in to it each day: The sort of audience that, in the United States, is to be had only once a year, and only for the one network that has won the rights that year to broadcast American football’s Super Bowl championship game.”
That figure might seem exaggerated, but all it takes is a walk around the block for it to look conservative. Everywhere I go there’s a television turned on, usually to Globo, and everybody is staring hypnotically at it.
Not surprisingly, a 2011 study supported by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics found the percentage of households with a television set in 2011 (96.9) was higher than the percentage of those with a refrigerator (95.8), and that 64 percent had more than one television set. Other researchers have found that Brazilians watch four hours and 31 minutes of TV per weekday, and four hours and 14 minutes on weekends; 73 percent watch TV every day and only 4 percent never regularly watch television. (I’m one of the latter.)