People/Biz

BBC Studios backs Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi

BBC Studios, the commercial arm of the BBC, is the latest investor in Jeffrey Katzenberg‘s short-form streaming venture Quibi. The television production and distribution company now joins a growing list of ...
July 8, 2019

BBC Studios, the commercial arm of the BBC, is the latest investor in Jeffrey Katzenberg‘s short-form streaming venture Quibi.

The television production and distribution company now joins a growing list of investors in Quibi that already includes The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal, WarnerMedia, Viacom, MGM, Entertainment One, All3Media co-owner Liberty Global, China’s Alibaba Group and UK commercial network ITV.

A BBC Studios spokeswoman said, “We are pleased to have concluded an investment in Quibi and we both see good opportunities to work together on future projects.”

BBC Studios’ backing comes less than a week after the company secured its first commission, Fierce Queens (pictured), for the Katzenberg-owned digital service. The natural history blue chip series will provide an intimate look into female animals, including “the rebel matriarchs, powerful leaders and dangerous lovers of the natural world.”

Fierce Queens is produced by the BBC Studios Natural History Unit.

Katzenberg’s mobile-only streamer is scheduled to launch April 2020. The service is spending around US$6 million for every hour of material, and in its first year will invest about $1 billion in content. At launch, its unscripted lineup will include reboots of MTV’s Punk’d and Singled Out, as well as an untitled series from Academy Award-winning producer Dan Cogan and Oscar-nominated director Liz Garbus‘ recently launched non-fiction production house Story Syndicate.

Targeting a 25-to-35 year-old audience, Quibi will be available as a two-tiered service – an ad-free version for US$7.99 and a version with short ads for $4.99.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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