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British drama travels the world
MUMBAI: BBC’s commercial arm BBC Worldwide has announced recent sales of over 700 drama hours to international broadcasters.
At BBC Worldwide Showcase 2015 this month over 700 international TV buyers from around the world have gathered at Liverpool to screen the best in British programming. BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, has announced over 700 hours of recent global drama sales including ‘Doctor Who’, ‘Sherlock’, ‘The Honourable Woman’, ‘The Intruders’, ‘Last Tango in Halifax’, ‘Happy Valley’ and pre-sales of ‘Critical’ and ‘The Interceptor’, to foreign broadcasters.
BBC Worldwide president global markets Paul Dempsey said, “The quality, originality and range of British drama is helping us find new audiences around the world as more and more viewers discover the compelling stories our world class actors, directors and writers want to tell.”
Western European broadcasters have bought up a wide range of British dramas totalling 121 hours. German public broadcaster WDR has picked up a drama package of ‘The Game’, ‘Happy Valley’ and ‘Prey’ and France 2 has also bought a number of titles including the fourth season of ‘Death in Paradise’. In Belgium, public broadcaster VRT will be premiering the award-winning thriller ‘The Honourable Woman’ starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, which will air on Canvas. The fourth season of ‘Call the Midwife’ has been sold to free-to-air Belgian channel Vitaya.
Prime (part of the Telenet Group) has secured ‘The Intruders’ with John Simm and Mira Sorvino and the second season of ‘Atlantis’.
In the Nordics, two significant deals were made with SVT in Sweden recently, both deals totalling 200 hours of drama covering all three seasons of ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ starring Sarah Lancashire, ‘Cucumber’ and ‘Banana’, along with presales of Critical, a real-time medical drama created by Jed Mercurio, and the stylish, fast-paced series, ‘The Interceptor’, ahead of their launch at BBC Worldwide Showcase. Another major package went to Swedish broadcaster TV4, which included the second season of ‘The Musketeers’ and the 18th season of ‘Silent Witness’, amongst others.
Further East in Poland, BBC Worldwide have closed a deal with NC+ platform, mainly on drama content such as ‘Happy Valley’, ‘Ripper Street’, ‘The Honourable Woman’ and ‘The Game’. In Israel, a deal has been signed with public broadcaster IBA for a pre-sale of ‘Critical’ along with other title sales including ‘Call the Midwife’ seasons two to four, ‘Mapp and Lucia’, ‘The Paradise’ and ‘Our Zoo’. ‘The Musketeers’ seasons one and two and ‘The Honourable Woman’ went to Israel’s HOT and BBC Worldwide also recently concluded a digital deal with Cellcom Israel for its upcoming OTT TV service totalling 129.5 hours, with dramas such as ‘Sherlock’, ‘Orphan Black’ and ‘Luther’.
Elsewhere, there were further package deals in Turkey to NTV including ‘The Intruders’, ‘Doctor Who’, ‘The Game’ and ‘The Musketeers’ and the first season of ‘Ripper Street was landed by African pay-TV channel MNet. In Chile, free-to-air TVN signed up the third season of ‘Sherlock’ and ‘The Musketeers’ sold to free-to-air Canal 40 from TV Azteca in Mexico.