Beijing and Hong Kong – BBC Worldwide announced two deals in Greater China at MIPTV on April 7. The deals were signed with TVB, the primary free-to-air TV broadcaster in Hong Kong, and Tencent, a provider of comprehensive Internet services in China.
The deal with TVB sees BBC Worldwide providing a wealth of new titles, predominantly natural history and factual, to the biggest terrestrial broadcaster in Hong Kong. Starting in the second quarter of this year, viewers in Hong Kong will be privy to highly commended series such as How to Build a Planet, a series where Richard Hammond explores how to build a planet that is just right for life; Supergiant Animals, a series tracking the adventures of Steve Backshall as he searches for the biggest creatures on the planet; and Deadly Pole To Pole, where Steve Backshall continues on his search for deadliest animals from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Other programmes in the deal include entertainment, lifestyle and preschool titles such as Sherlock (series three), Michela’s Classic Italian and Show Me Show Me (series four).
The deal marks the first time Tencent has acquired factual programmes from BBC Worldwide. Over 60 natural history and factual titles will be available on Tencent’s VOD service. Titles in the deal include Frozen Planet, a seven-part series that focuses on life and the environment in both the Arctic and Antarctic; and Penguins – Spy in the Huddle, a series that uses the latest spy cameras to give viewers a new perspective on their behaviour and extreme survival tactics. The programmes will be available this April.
“We are extremely excited about the two new deals,” said Pierre Cheung, Vice President & General Manager Greater China for BBC Worldwide. “TVB has been a trusted partner of BBC Worldwide for many years now, and this deal has cemented our relationship. With Tencent, we’ve had immense success with drama titles in the past, with series one of Primeval raking in its highest ratings at 8 million views by the end of March 2014. Now, we are eager to explore new grounds with Tencent and expand our offerings on their VOD service. At BBC Worldwide, we continually strive to deliver programmes that are different and innovative, and we believe that this is reflected by the quality of our shows.”
“We had previously worked with BBC Worldwide to provide drama titles, and over the course of our relationship, we have seen its popularity soar. With the growing demand for factual content coupled with BBC Worldwide’s reputation for quality programmes, we are confident that the natural and factual titles will receive the same or even greater traction with our users,” said Suman Wang, Chief Editor of Tencent Video.