BBC Studios Seals Expanded Bilibili Deal


BBC Studios and Bilibili have signed a new content sales and production agreement that includes jointly developing IP for the Chinese market.

As part of the expanded alliance, factual programs with segments about Chinese culture will be co-produced by BBC Studios and Bilibili. In addition, Bilibili will become a co-production partner in China for new BBC Studios factual titles, including the upcoming The Green Planet and Mating Game.

BBC Studios Science Unit will team with Bilibili on a newly commissioned science series, Odyssey into the Future, featuring Chinese author Liu Cixin.

Meanwhile, the streaming platform now has greater access to BBC Studios drama and comedy titles, including the exclusive VOD rights in China to The Watch. Other BBC Studios scripted content and entertainment shows will become available on Bilibili, including Top Gear and Doctor Who.

The partners are also exploring opportunities for BBC Studios to invest in Bilibili-produced content that can be rolled out globally.

Jon Penn, executive VP of BBC Studios Asia Pacific (APAC), said, “China is one of the fastest-changing and most dynamic media markets in the world. We’re delighted to have forged this long-term partnership with Bilibili which will see BBC Studios deepen its participation in China. This more advanced strategic partnership with Bilibili is a significant breakthrough, as it will help us to further explore the potential of China’s content industry.”

Ding Ke, the newly-appointed senior VP and general manager for Greater China at BBC Studios, added, “With decades of commitment to China, as well as our roots in generating bold creative content, we know that telling Chinese stories is about realizing local values and resonating with the Chinese audience. Previous cooperation between BBC Studios and Bilibili laid a solid foundation for this enhanced strategic partnership. As well as taking British stories to China, this deal will also take some of China’s rich cultural stories to the rest of the world.”

Li Ni, vice chairwoman and COO of Bilibili, noted, “We are excited to deepen our cooperation by entering into a strategic partnership with BBC Studios. Documentary is one of the most popular content categories among our users. Our continuous investment and commitment in this area is bearing fruit: Bilibili’s video library contains more than 3,000 documentaries; we have also produced and co-produced hundreds of titles, around which we have built up a unique content ecosystem. BBC Studios not only brings valuable production expertise to the table, but also has strong brand recognition and influence around the world. Looking forward, we are committed to leveraging the strengths of both parties to explore more diverse content together. We will collaborate to create high-quality productions while bringing more Chinese original content to overseas markets.”

Lisa Opie, managing director of BBC Studios UK Production, commented, “I’m delighted that we will be working closely with Bilibili to develop new commissions for their platform and to grow our production capabilities in China. With BBC Studios’ excellent storytelling heritage, production craft and cutting-edge technology, we can play a significant role in developing further exciting stories for Bilibili, which cater to the Chinese market and also to the rest of the world.”