BBC, Discovery extend co-production partnership Team

(20 November 2010 11:50 am)

MUMBAI: BBC and Discovery have extended their long term co-production partnership in the US.

Under the new agreement, the BBC and Discovery are extending their long-standing strategic programming relationship for co-productions and programme acquisitions for North America by two years to 2014. This partnership has produced shows such as Life, Planet Earth, Blue Planet and Wonders of the Solar System.

Discovery Networks International president and CEO Mark Hollinger says, "This new co-production agreement continues a tradition of developing world class global hits such as Planet Earth and Life that began 25 years ago when Discovery launched in the US" .

BBC Vision director Jana Bennett says, "This extended deal with Discovery enables us to continue producing the most ambitious and creative landmark factual programming for viewers until 2014 and provides exceptional value for licence fee payers. It will enable us to build on some of the natural history and specialist factual co-productions we already have planned, such as David Attenborough's epic series about the cycle of seasons, Frozen Planet, for 2011."

In addition, BBC Worldwide is selling to Discovery its 50 per cent interest in the global TV channels joint venture Animal Planet and Liv for $156 million. Following the exit of this joint venture, BBC Worldwide will concentrate on the expansion of its wholly owned channel brands, which include BBC America, BBC Entertainment, BBC Knowledge, BBC Lifestyle, BBC HD and CBeebies, which reach 107 million subscribers in over 100 countries.

BBC Worldwide CEO John Smith says, "The launch and growth of BBC-branded international channels is an important strategic priority for BBC Worldwide and the sale of the 50 [er cent interest in Animal Planet and Liv will enable us to bring increased focus to these fast-growing channels, and to progress a number of other strategic priorities. The sale is also consistent with the BBC Trust review of BBC Worldwide which was published in November 2009."

Hollinger added, "Acquiring BBC Worldwide's rights to the Animal Planet and Liv channel brands provides Discovery a strategic opportunity to create additional revenue and growth opportunities for our global business."