24 Sep 2017
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BBC Worldwide licenses over 400 hours of programmes across across Africa

MUMBAI: BBC Worldwide has licensed over 400 hours of programming across Africa in the first part of 2017. The raft of sales includes a first time deal with a new SVod platform, Iflix.

Southeast Asian SVod platform Iflix has licensed over 150 hours of British content ahead of its imminent launch across Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa). The deal includes ‘Top Gear’, ‘Citizen Khan’ and ‘Luther’.

Drama series have been the driving force for wider deals across the continent with over 250 hours of BBC Worldwide content being licensed to mobile operators including VodaCom and MTN. Global hits such as ‘Call The Midwife’ and ‘Doctor Who’ contribute to the deal that spans 11 territories in Africa including Nigeria and South Africa.

The importance of Africa is recognised at this year’s annual MipTV event with an African Pavilion featuring local production companies, broadcasters and wider media platforms, who will all be showcasing the very best of Africa.

Johannesburg based production company Rapid Blue, who partnered with BBC Worldwide in early 2016, will be present at the Cannes event with its CEO, Duncan Irvine, taking part in a South African panel. Rapid Blue is an award winning production house who, together with BBC Worldwide, has introduced some of the most popular global formats to South Africa and Sub- Saharan Africa, including ‘The Great South African Bake Off’, ‘Come Dine With Me South Africa’ and ‘Strictly Come Dancing SA’.

BBC Worldwide VP, GM Africa Joel Churcher said, “It’s a really exciting time to be doing business in Africa. The demand for premium British content and formats across the African Continent is vast and is why we have partnered with local companies like Rapid Blue. We want to ensure that at BBC Worldwide, we not only distribute the very best but we also create and support the very best local content to ensure that Africa stays front of mind globally in broadcasting.”

In support of the wider local African TV industry and local economy, a number of titles in BBC Worldwide’s catalogue including global hit programmes Planet Earth II, Top Gear series 23 and Call the Midwife series six have been filmed across the continent. Countries where filming has taken place include Ethiopia, South Africa, Madagascar, Namibia, Kenya and Botswana. Call the Midwife’s Christmas episode used a completely local cast of actors based in and around Cape Town to complement the lead actors who travelled across to film at ‘Hope Clinic’.

Other productions which have been filmed across Africa include the latest drama from Peter Moffat; ‘The Last Post’. BBC Worldwide commissions ‘Tribal Bootcamp’ and ‘Fishing Impossible’ have been filmed in countries including Kenya, Zambia and South Africa. Africa offers not just impressive landscapes and backdrops for filming but also good value, which is helping both global studios and Indies to film more premium content.