BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of UK pubcaster the BBC, and Chinese media company Shanghai Media Group (SMG) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will see their strategic partnership expand to include program and format production, program distribution and copro opportunities.
Under the agreement, BBC Worldwide will work with several of SMG’s subsidiaries, including Internet TV Service, BesTV, DocuChina, Dragon TV, Wings Media and Toonmax Media.
Key areas of collaboration will include exploring areas of coproduction with BesTV, DocuChina and Toonmax Media, for documentaries, factual entertainment and dramatic content for the Chinese and global markets. The first coproduction output of a major documentary is expected to be completed within a year.
Also, BBC Worldwide will work with Dragon TV, SMG’s satellite broadcaster, to produce BBC formats for the channel and ultimately co-develop original formats to take to the international market. As well, the agreement will have the extension of the CBeebies brand in China beyond television and into consumer products, e-commerce and marketing, as a focus.
SMG’s BesTV has acquired BBC documentaries and drama since 2008, while Chinese versions of such BBC formats as Top Gear and Dancing with the Stars are produced for and shown on Dragon TV.
“We are delighted to be cementing our relationship with SMG by announcing this exciting new phase of our long term alliance and look forward to working together towards the exchange of expertise and creation of new business models across media spaces in both China and globally,” said Paul Dempsey, president of global markets for BBC Worldwide, in a statement.
“We look forward to deepening out relationship with BBC Worldwide to greatly enhance SMG’s original production capacity,” added Madam Wang Jianjun, director-president of Shanghai Media Group.