Oregon Public Broadcasting, a PBS affiliate in Portland, and Toronto-based pubcaster the CBC have signed a co-development agreement estimated to be worth upwards of US$1.2 million per annum that targets history and science doc programming. First announced in Paris during the World Congresses of Science and History (December 3 to 6, and December 7 to 10, respectively), the deal sees the pubcasters collaborating on as many as eight projects a year, a number of which will be produced in high def. Says Jack Galmiche, COO of OPB, ‘Ultimately, what we hope to achieve is coproducing projects that we can bring to the CBC system as well as to PBS.’
The deal’s focus on history and science taps into the production strengths at both outlets, explains Galmiche; projects could range from one-hours to limited series and series. ‘We’re trying to bring more high-quality productions to the PBS system,’ says Galmiche. ‘If we can identify coproduction dollars out of Canada, it’s a way we can complete funding.’
Each partner is also looking to make their budgets go further by collaborating on Web, educational and outreach components. The deal doesn’t stipulate that both parties share costs equally, but that’s the goal. ‘When there’s more of an equal contribution, working out the windows of where it plays first or whether it’s a simultaneous release does get simpler,’ contends Galmiche. At press time, the first project had not yet been decided.