BBC Worldwide Unveils Global Drama Sales as Annual Showcase in Liverpool Kicks off

BBC hit drama 'Sherlock'

"The demand for British drama continues to rise as global audiences are captivated by both the range and quality of our writing, acting and production," says Paul Dempsey, president, global markets, BBC Worldwide.

As L.A. gears up for the Academy Awards, Liverpool, England, is again preparing for a different kind of entertainment industry event. BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the U.K. public broadcaster and the largest seller of TV content outside of the U.S., is again holding its annual Showcase, the BBC's equivalent of the L.A. Screenings.

With more than 700 delegates attending annually, the event is the world’s biggest television sales market hosted by a single distributor. The 41st annual BBC Worldwide Showcase, set in the home of the Beatles for the sixth year in a row, is again offering various Brit fare, with BBC Worldwide on Monday saying that it has sold over 3,000 hours of dramas in the past three months in what it called "a continuing sign of the insatiable appetite for great British drama."

The BBC Worldwide Showcase has in recent years signed up a record number of international buyers who take a closer look and buy shows from the BBC or independent producers represented by BBC Worldwide. First-time attendees of recent years have included such companies as DirecTV and Google Play. For BBC Worldwide, the Showcase is a platform for more in-depth sales talks than such markets as MIPTV or MIPCOM typically allow for.

Buyers can screen shows in digi booths and attend discussion panels and social events in Liverpool.

The four-day BBC Worldwide Showcase runs through Wednesday. 

The company said Monday that it has struck deals across the globe, from sub-Saharan Africa to Estonia, with Sherlock, Doctor Foster and Call the Midwife among its top-selling series globally. Plus, it said "sales of classic series like Miss Marple continue to find new audiences."

Such writers as Mark Gatiss (Doctor Who, Sherlock), Mike Bartlett (Doctor Foster), Hossein Amini (McMafia), Misha Glenny (McMafia) and Jimmy McGovern (Broken) are taking part in the Showcase.

Said Paul Dempsey, president, global markets at BBC Worldwide: "The demand for British drama continues to rise as global audiences are captivated by both the range and quality of our writing, acting and production."

Among other deals unveiled Monday, Germany's RTL Pay bought new BBC drama SSGB, and ZDF bought new seasons of Death in Paradise and Spooks, while in Italy, Rai Cinema acquired the first season of Doctor Foster as part of a drama package.

"There is also strong demand for British drama in Central and Eastern Europe with 600 hours of content sold across the region," said BBC Worldwide. In Russia, War and Peace will now be available on SVOD platform IVI, and in the Ukraine Digital Screens will show Dickensian season 1. Audiences in Israel will be able to watch The Honourable Woman on Vubiquity and Unforgotten on yes.

Nearly 400 hours of drama have been sold across Latin America, with War and Peace licensed to Brazilian free-to-air channel, Globo.

And in Asia, nearly 950 hours of drama content was acquired by companies in Korea, Japan, greater China and India, including by KBS in Korea, AXN Mystery in Japan, Youku in greater China and FX in India.