BBC’s Ben Stephenson to keynote the MIPTV Conference

BBC Keeps Olympics Through 2020

A week ahead of the opening ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics, the BBC has signed a deal to ensure it will remain the exclusive U.K. Olympic broadcaster through 2020 at least. The agreement signed with the International Olympic Committee includes U.K. rights across all media platforms, including online and mobile.

The four-day event will feature two talks from the BBC’s Commissioner of Drama during the annual TV industry meeting in April.

BBC’s drama development and production chief Ben Stephenson will be the keynote speaker at MIPTV 2013, conference organizers announced in a statement Friday.  Stephenson, who is in charge of commissioning all of BBC’s drama programming for both broadcast and internet, is scheduled to present the opening speech at the annual Cannes conference’s Drama Co-Production Summit on Apr. 8.  He will also discuss the current state of producer and commissioner relations during the Creative Talk slate on Apr. 9. 

In his current position, Stephenson has been credited with the reemergence of drama on the British public broadcaster.  He originally joined the network as Head of Development, Independent Drama in 2005, became Head of Drama Commissioning in 2007, and was named Controller the following year. 

Under his direction, BBC’s renewed focus on drama programming has been hailed as a huge success for the channel.   

Stephenson’s programming has received wide critical acclaim with hits such as BBC One’s lottery-winner series The Syndicate, 1950’s nostalgic medical memoir Call the Midwife, and BBC Two’s gritty police drama Line of Duty.  Sherman also commissioned international hits Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, and Golden Globe-winning miniseries Luther, starring Idris Elba

The annual event will take place in Cannes, Apr. 8 -11.