BBC Studios Inks India Licensing Deal with Lionsgate

Brexit - Benedict Cumberbatch - HBO Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of HBO

The agreement will see a raft of high-end British TV series land on the Indian streaming service Lionsgate Play, including 'Brexit: The Uncivil War,' starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and 'Les Misérables,' among others.

BBC Studios unveiled a new content catalogue deal Thursday with Lionsgate Play covering the streaming platform's presence in the vast India market. Under the agreement, five of BBC Studios recent scripted dramas have been selected for the service, with the shows subtitled into multiple regional Indian languages.

"Indian audiences have always enjoyed British content and the unique content line up provided by BBC Studios covers various genres of entertainment," said Rohit Jain, managing director at Lionsgate in South Asia. "We are confident our viewers will be swooped into another world,” he added.

The series covered under the deal span science fiction, period drama and contemporary genres. They include Brexit: The Uncivil War, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, which dives into the activities and strategies behind the 2016 "Vote Leave" campaign in the U.K. Also included is the eight-episode series Class, set in the universe of Doctor Who; Les Misérables, starring Dominic West (The Wire) and Oscar winner Olivia Colman (The Favourite); Pure, about a 24-year-old woman coping with obsessive compulsive disorder; and the epic period drama SS-GB, which tells an alternative history set in 1941, where the Germans have won the Battle of Britain.

Stanley Fernandes, vp of distribution in South Asia at BBC Studios, said of the deal: "These programs represent the cutting-edge of both BBC and British storytelling as a whole, and we’re really excited to bring even more choice to the discerning Indian viewer, through this deal with Lionsgate. In the midst of India’s dynamic streaming and entertainment landscape, we’re pleased that British drama and formats continue to find new platforms and an enthusiastic public reception in the region, and that these stories are accessible to as wide an audience as possible.”

India, the world's second most populous nation, has become a fiercely contested territory for the major streaming players as they look to drive sub-growth outside the maturing North American and Western European markets. The Lionsgate Play streaming platform is currently available in India on the Google Play Store, Apple App Store, Amazon Firestick and via Airtel Xstream, Jio Fiber and Vi Movies and TV.

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