Pleased with the results of its development deal with pbs and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in the U.S., London-based Carlton Productions and Carlton International have signed a similar agreement with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). However, where the first deal encompasses all genres, the latter is specific to factual programming.
Terms of the year-long contract see ABC acquiring a minimum of 10 hours of completed programs from Carlton International’s catalog, as well as the three signing parties agreeing to invest in and coproduce a number of projects. How that breaks down in hours remains to be seen. Says Louise Pedersen, managing director of international sales for Carlton International, ‘The deal is structured around financial parameters. It’s a nice seven-figure sum – that can be either five hours of high-end stuff or 10 hours of medium-end stuff.’ Carlton International will distribute the programs coproduced through the venture.
A second multimillion-dollar fund was set up among the signatories to finance landmark docs. ‘That’s for the top-end stuff; huge projects that will be genuine copros,’ says Pedersen. ‘To do those projects these days, you need a decent Australian commission, a U.K. commission and ideally a U.S. partner as well.’
Pedersen notes that the alliance is particularly interested in producing an historical series. As for scope, she says, ‘It’s a pretty hefty chunk of money. If we choose to make a six-hour project on a huge historical thing, that’s what it’s intended for.’
As part of the deal, ABC also gains first-look privileges for shows developed by Carlton, PBS and CPB – either for acquisition or coproduction. abc can pitch pbs through Carlton as well. Notes Pedersen, ‘abc could pitch PBS directly, but anything that needs funding from both parties would have to come through the Carlton venture anyway.’ The same holds true for PBS’s access to programs produced by Carlton and abc.