Extra: BBC Studios ANZ ups Deb Tod; Drive bolsters distribution slate

Deb Tod tapped to lead content sales for BBC Studios ANZ BBC Studios has named Deb Tod as regional head of content sales and co-production for its operations in Australia and ...
April 1, 2019

Deb Tod tapped to lead content sales for BBC Studios ANZ

BBC Studios has named Deb Tod as regional head of content sales and co-production for its operations in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ)

In her new post, Tod (pictured) will helm the strategic and team leadership of BBC Studios’ content sales and copros across Australia and New Zealand. Additionally, as part of the international sales team, Tod will provide input into global deals, content partnerships and co-productions on behalf of the two nations. She will also be a core member of the ANZ regional executive leadership team.

Tod has been acting in this position since Irene Read retired as director of content sales in January 2019. She joined BBC Studios ANZ (formerly BBC Worldwide ANZ) as a senior sales executive in 2014 before quickly rising to the role of sales manager a year later, then head of content sales in 2016.

During her time at BBC Studios, Tod has secured a number of key sales including the current first-look pact with Foxtel Lifestyle channels, landmark natural history deals with the Nine Network and TVNZ, and substantial catalog packages with Netflix.

Drive bolsters royal programming slate; acquires stable of factual titles 

UK-based production-funding and distribution agency Drive has been appointed by True Royal TV, the royalty-themed SVOD platform, to distribute a portfolio of royal-focused programming.

The slate includes three new royal family documentaries and an eight-part royal talk show produced by British indie Spun Gold TV.

The titles include Meghan & Harry: Bringing Up Baby (working title; 1 x 60 minutes), featuring Sunday Times royal correspondent Roya Nikkhah, who provides insight into what the future has in store for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and their baby; fashion-focused program Meghan Markle: Inside the Wardrobe of a Princess (1 x 60 minutes); Inside Royal Homes (1 x 60 minutes), which looks at how historic buildings have transformed into modern royal homes; and The Royal View (8 x 30 minutes), an in-depth look at the truth behind the various stories surrounding the royal family.

Drive is distributing all four shows globally and will launch the projects to international buyers at MIPTV in Cannes, France this month.

In other Drive news, the distributor has acquired a number of factual titles, including Busted in Bangkok: Thai Tourist Police. The 6 x 60-minute project is a copro between Curve Media and Motion Content Group for Channel 5 in the UK, and follows a group of English-speaking Thai Tourist Police officers as they deal with tourists from all over the world.

The London distributor has also picked up the October Films-produced hour-long special, The Hunt for Ted Bundy for Investigation Discovery, which follows detective Bob Keppel as he re-opens his personal casebook and delves back into the 1974 serial murder case of Ted Bundy; and the Mr. Porter produced film, Dressing the Part, which sees award-winning costume designer Arianne Phillips taking audiences behind-the-scenes to get a closer look at the woman who dresses some of society’s most famous faces.

Portfolio Entertainment pens flurry of unscripted content sales

Global distributor and producer Portfolio Entertainment has inked a number of sales that will see its catalog journey to broadcasters and VOD platforms around the world.

The third season of 7 Wonder Entertainment’s Do You Know? (25 x 15 minutes for the season, 75 x 15 minutes total episodes) is heading to Israeli net NOGA after previously acquiring the first two seasons, while BBC Persian picked up season one for a series premiere in the Middle East. Do You Know? will make its linear TV debut in Canada as Toon-A-Vision recently took the rights to all three seasons. PlayKids’ SVOD platform will be streaming the full series in Canada and the U.S., while AB Groupe has acquired all three seasons for France and Belgium.

American network UPtv, meanwhile, has acquired Portfolio’s family documentary For The Love of Dog (1 x 60 minutes), which details the over-the-top obsessions some people have with their four-legged friends.

Elsewhere, CBS-owned national broadcaster DABL Networks has picked up linear TV rights for all five seasons, plus 16 specials, of food and travel series You Gotta Eat Here! (150 x 22 minutes), while San Antonio, Texas-based KSAT has acquired 60 episodes of series for its local market.

Finally, South Africa’s Ignition TV has taken season 1 of Car Stories (52 x 22 minutes), Joe Media’s series about cars and the people who love them.

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 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.