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BBC Worldwide Sells 3,000 Hours of Drama in Three Months (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 2/20/2017 Leo Barraclough
© Provided by Variety

BBC Worldwide, the British broadcaster’s commercial division, says it has sold more than 3,000 hours of drama around the world in the past three months. The announcement was made as four-day TV market BBC Worldwide Showcase kicked off in Liverpool, England, with scripted shows taking center stage.

In Western Europe, where more than 200 hours of drama were sold, two of Germany’s major broadcasters bought a number of new and classic titles. RTL Pay purchased “SS-GB” and “Rillington Place,” and ZDF bought “Death in Paradise” (seasons 5-6) as well as “Spooks” (seasons 6-10), among other titles. In Italy, Rai Cinema acquired “Doctor Foster” (season 1) as part of a drama package.

There is also strong demand for British drama in Central and Eastern Europe, with 600 hours of content sold across the region. In Russia, “War and Peace” (2015) will now be available on subscription VOD platform IVI, and in Ukraine, Digital Screens will have “Dickensian” (season 1) among other drama series. ETV in Estonia acquired “Father Brown” (seasons 1-5), LTV in Latvia picked up “DCI Banks” (seasons 1-3) and Lithuania has “Sherlock” (season 4).

In Northern Europe, around 350 hours of drama have been sold across the territories with “Maigret” (episodes 1-2) licensed to VRT in Belgium, and “Happy Valley” (season 2) to NPO in Holland. “Call the Midwife” (season 6) has been sold to SVT in Sweden, “The Durrells” to TV2 in Denmark and “The Collection” (season 1) to RUV in Iceland.

There have been a number of deals with platforms across Sub-Saharan Africa and Kenya, where series including “Ripper Street” (seasons 1-4), “Luther” (seasons 1-4) and “Top of the Lake” (season 1) are now available.

In the Middle East, audiences in Israel will now be able to watch “The Honorable Woman” on Vubiquity and “Unforgotten” (seasons 1-2) on the broadcaster Yes.

Nearly 400 hours of drama have been sold across Latin America with “War and Peace” (2015) licensed to Brazilian free-to-air channel Globo. “Ripper Street” (season 2) will be available on Filmin Latino (SVOD/FVOD) as well as Pramer (seasons 2-3). In addition, Vubiquity has acquired seasons 1-10 of “Doctor Who.”

Finally, in Asia, nearly 950 hours of drama content was acquired between Korea, Japan, Greater China and India with titles such as “New Tricks” (season 12), “Citizen Khan” (season 5) and “The Paradise” (seasons 1-2) proving popular. Clients included KBS in Korea, AXN Mystery in Japan, Youku in Greater China and FX in India.

Paul Dempsey, president global markets, BBC Worldwide, said: “The demand for British drama continues to rise as global audiences are captivated by both the range and quality of our writing, acting and production.”

More than 700 buyers are attending BBC Worldwide Showcase to watch more than 3,000 hours of programs during event. They’ll also get to hear from the producers and creatives of a wide range of new shows. Among the creatives attending are writers Mark Gatiss (“Doctor Who,” “Sherlock”), Hossein Amini (“McMafia”), Misha Glenny (“McMafia”), Mike Bartlett (“Doctor Foster”) and Jimmy McGovern (“Broken”).

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