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‘Top Gear,’ ‘Doctor Who’ Among 400 Hours of BBC Content Licensed Across Africa

Variety logo Variety 4/10/2017 Robert Mitchell
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Leading BBC brands “Top Gear” and “Doctor Who” are among more than 400 hours of content that BBC Worldwide has licensed for broadcast across Africa in the first part of 2017. The multiple sales include a first deal between BBC Worldwide Africa and Iflix’s new African SVOD platform.

The Malaysia-based Iflix has acquired more than 150 hours of BBC programming ahead of its launch later this year across sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa). The deal includes “Top Gear,” comedy “Citizen Khan” and Idris Elba drama “Luther.”

BBC Worldwide says its drama and factual series have been the key driving force for wider deals across Africa. Mobile operators including VodaCom and MTN have licensed more than 250 hours of programming, including “Doctor Who” and the Golden Globe-winning “Wolf Hall,” in a deal that covers 11 countries, including Nigeria and South Africa.

“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,” said Joel Churcher, vice president and general manager for Africa at BBC Worldwide.

Churcher says that BBC Worldwide also wants to continue to create and support the very best local content in Africa. In 2016 it teams with Johannesburg-based production company Rapid Blue to bring several popular formats to South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, including “The Great Bake Off” and “Strictly Come Dancing.”

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