MIPTV: Shanghai Media Group, BBC Worldwide Expand Partnership

Courtesy of History
Chinese versions of such BBC formats as 'Top Gear' are produced for and shown on Shanghai Media Group's Dragon TV.

A memorandum of understanding calls for collaboration in program and format production and content distribution.

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the U.K. public broadcaster, has signed a memorandum of understanding with China's Shanghai Media Group to expand their strategic partnership to include program and format production, program distribution and co-production opportunities.

The agreement will see BBC Worldwide working with several SMG subsidiaries, including Internet TV service BesTV, documentary channel DocuChina, satellite TV service Dragon TV and others, the companies said. Financial details weren't disclosed.

The MOU was signed in a ceremony at MIPTV in Cannes with Wang Jianjun, director general and president of SMG, and Paul Dempsey, president, global markets at BBC Worldwide.

Among key parts of the deal, the partners will look to extend the BBC's CBeebies kids programming brand in China with BesTV to broaden it beyond TV to include consumer products, e-commerce and marketing; explore co-production opportunities in documentaries, factual entertainment and drama; as well as format production, focused on the production of BBC formats for Dragon TV. The companies said their goal was to "ultimately co-developing original formats to take to the international market."

“We are delighted to be cementing our relationship with SMG by announcing this exciting new phase of our long-term alliance and look forward to working together toward the exchange of expertise and creation of new business models across media spaces in both China and globally,” said Dempsey.

"SMG and BBC Worldwide have enjoyed extensive content distribution collaboration over the years. I’m delighted that our collaboration will expand to new territories in the future," said Jianjun.

BBC Worldwide has a long-standing relationship with SMG, with BesTV acquiring BBC documentaries and dramas since 2008. Chinese versions of BBC formats Top Gear and Dancing With the Stars are produced for and shown on Dragon TV. There is also an existing branded block of CBeebies programming that can be seen in more than 20 million Chinese households.

Twitter: @georgszalai

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