The BBC has sold its blue-chip natural history series Frozen Planet into China, with state broadcaster CCTV acquiring the title at the second annual BBC Showcase China event in Beijing this week.
The seven-part series, helmed by Alastair Fothergill (Planet Earth, The Blue Planet) and made by the BBC’s Natural History Unit, looks at life in the Arctic and Antarctic. It is a coproduction with Discovery Communications, ZDF in Germany, Antena 3 in Spain and Skai TV in Greece.
BBC Worldwide, the UK public broadcaster’s commercial arm, hosted some 150 guests at the Showcase event, which took place during the Beijing TV Festival.
“We’ve enjoyed a successful partnership with CCTV for many years, which of course has included the major coproduction for Beautiful China (known globally as Wild China), now sold to over 160 territories,” said Pierre Cheung, BBC Worldwide’s sales and distribution VP and general manager for Greater China, in a blog post.
“With high expectations in the industry around Frozen Planet, we hope to see this landmark series become a huge hit for them too.”
Cheung added that the BBC had now sold five formats in total into China, including Top Gear, Dancing with the Stars and Tonight’s the Night. “We work with ShiXi Productions to license and develop our formats in China, and drawing on their local know-how is invaluable to our business,” he said.
“Digital sales are another growth area for us, having signed VoD deals with major local websites Sina.com, ifeng.com and CNTV.com in addition to Sohu, and – further afield – Chunghwa Telecom in Taiwan, and now.com.hk in Hong Kong.”