China's Internet Video Giant Youku Tudou Picks Up Three TV Dramas From Endemol

5:43 AM PST 11/21/2013 by Clifford Coonan
Robert Viglasky
Cillian Murphy in "Peaky Blinders"

The country's top video site will soon be streaming British shows 'Peaky Blinders' and 'Black Mirror,' along with Canada's 'Continuum.'

Indie powerhouse Endemol has sold the video-on-demand rights for Peaky Blinders, the first two seasons of Continuum and the second season of Black Mirror to the Chinese online video site Youku Tudou.

Trade Lead Investments China, a copyright services subsidiary of Youku, acquired the three dramas from Endemol, the companies said in a statement.

The deal was negotiated by Rashmi Bajpai, Endemol Worldwide Distribution’s sales director in Asia.

STUDY: British TV Dramas Gaining Traction Among Chinese Elite

British period gangster drama Peaky Blinders, starring Sam Neill and Cillian Murphy, was created by Steven Knight and has been commissioned for a second season.

Black Mirror, also British, is a series of stand-alone dramas created by Charlie Brooker, and produced by Zeppotron Productions (an Endemol Company) for Channel 4.

Created by Simon BarryContinuum, tells the story of a group of terrorists who escape their planned execution in the year 2077 and vault back in time to 2012. It was developed and produced by Reunion Pictures in association with Shaw Media for Showcase Canada and acquired by SYFY USA and SYFY UK.

The shows are fairly edgy fare for Chinese tastes, but Youku Tudou, which was formed by the merger of China's two biggest online TV companies, Youku and Tudou, last year, has already scored successes with non-mainstream overseas shows like The Walking Dead and Downton Abbey.

The Chinese Internet TV company is keen to boost legit content and recently sued online search giant Baidu and others for $49 million in damages related to piracy.

The group is on track to become profitable in the fourth quarter based on a recent surge in mobile traffic past 300 million daily views.

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