China's CCTV Buys Documentary Package from Germany's ZDF

National Geographic picked up the 'Third Reich' series for its channels worldwide.
National Geographic picked up the 'Third Reich' series for its channels worldwide.
 

COLOGNE, Germany — CCTV, China's largest broadcaster, has signed a major package deal with Germany's ZDF Enterprises for 18 hours of factual programming including six-part documentary series Last Secrets of the Third Reich as well as wildlife, history and biographical programs.

The shows, which also include four-part nature series Wild Germany and CIA Confidential, a two-part doc looking at the lives of U.S. undercover agents, are earmarked for the CCTV Documentary Channel, a 24-hour factual network, which launched two years ago and broadcasts in both Chinese and English.

Financial details weren't disclosed.

ZDF Enterprises, commercial arm of German public broadcaster ZDF, has cooperated with China's state channel in the past and the two have co-produced a series of high-gloss documentaries on Chinese history and culture. But Alexander Coridass, ZDF Enterprises president and CEO, said the new deal “will be a milestone” in the company's dealings with CCTV.

Zhou Yan, deputy managing director at CCTV Documentary, concurred, saying he was confident the agreement “will be the start of a long and rewarding partnership.”

CCTV expects the business to go both ways. Zhou said he hoped to introduce more Chinese documentaries into the German market in the future.

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