BBC Worldwide Delivers 800-Plus Hours to Sub-Saharan Africa


LIVERPOOL: At Showcase 2017, BBC Worldwide has secured sales to several broadcasters and platforms throughout Sub-Saharan Africa covering more than 800 hours of programming.

Over the past four months, BBC Worldwide inked a deal with the SVOD platform ShowMax, which picked up more than 200 hours spanning drama, comedy, natural history and children’s. Titles covered include Absolutely Fabulous and War and Peace. This marks the second deal with ShowMax since it launched in August 2015.

BBC Worldwide also entered into a deal with pay-TV operator StarTimes, which purchased more than 200 hours of drama and comedy titles, including Luther, Doctor Who and Call the Midwife. In addition, Standard Media’s free-to-air channel in Kenya, KTN, licensed three British drama series, Atlantis seasons one and two, as well as Sinbad. Mediamax Network, also in Kenya, licensed the Big Cat Diaries catalog for its Kameme TV channel, which will be dubbed into the Kikuyu language, spoken by the largest ethnic group in the country.

Joel Churcher, the VP and general manager for Africa at BBC Worldwide, said, “It’s an incredibly exciting time for the television industry in Africa. There’s an insatiable appetite for top-tier programs and BBC Worldwide content, in particular our drama series, are cutting through the wealth of content available and being recognized as some of the most popular shows across the continent. Showcase will be pivotal for us as a business to capitalize on the influx of popularity for our content and formats and deliver it to an even bigger audience in 2017.

“We’re also excited to be hosting three new buyers from Africa this year. Iflix, a new SVOD service across the continent; NET2 T, a key free-to-air channel in Ghana; and also new pay-TV platform Econet Media Group. Each of them will get to see the very best of our new content for 2017 and also some of the best programs in our back catalog.”

Grant Welland, the executive VP of Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa at BBC Worldwide, said, “The range and quality of great British shows in our catalog is what makes Showcase one of the must-attend events on the sales calendar. We’ll be celebrating the full spectrum of British drama, launching the follow-up to one of the BBC’s most successful natural-history programs, and introducing the latest series of the global hit Top Gear. With such a broad catalog of content, it will be very exciting to see what African broadcasters will be interested in bringing back to their viewers.”