In advance of MIPCOM, realscreen presents our annual round of buyer Q&As. Today, we chat with David Weiland, SVP programming and TV channels for BBC Worldwide Channels.
What sort of factual programming are you looking for currently for your channels?
We are looking for broad-appeal factual entertainment titles to sit alongside the traditional blue-chip documentaries the BBC is renowned for making. There is a large variance in the types of genres that appeal to viewers of our localised BBC Knowledge channels around the world. In Asia, for instance, business programming such as Dragons’ Den and The Apprentice is hugely popular, while in the Nordic region, we’ve received impressive ratings for crime and war documentaries. Adventure strands, for example, ‘Bruce Parry’s Amazon,’ are particularly well-liked in Africa, as are programs on the British monarchy.
With the world (supposedly) coming out of the economic crisis, are your budgets for acquisitions increasing?
We were careful to try to retain our programming budget rather than heavily reducing it during the economic downturn in order to provide our audiences with the same level of high quality content on our channels.
Are there any emerging trends you’ve noticed over the past year in terms of programming being offered by suppliers, and that being snapped up by broadcasters?
Scripted formats certainly seem to be making a comeback after the surge of unscripted reality shows that we saw emerge over the last few years. Food and competitive cooking shows remain popular with a recent example being Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, which recently picked up an award at the Creative Arts Emmys in August and series such as Come Dine with Me and MasterChef/MasterChef Australia. There also seems to have been a re-emergence in the popularity of physical game shows such as Wipeout and 101 Ways to Leave a Gameshow.