BBC Studios, the commercial production and distribution arm of the BBC, and German broadcaster ZDF have inked a development and co-production content deal.
The partnership will see the two companies co-develop scripted TV series and co-produce factual shows, such as the upcoming One Planet: Seven Worlds from BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit. Additionally, both BBC and ZDF will have the chance to pitch scripted projects geared towards the international market.
As part of this deal, ZDF will have an exclusive first look in Germany at co-producing all of BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit’s projects. The German broadcaster will also have the first option on the BBC Studios’ factual catalog.
ZDF has held a decades-long standing relationship with the BBC and its commercial arm. ZDF’s Terra X docu-brand has been the German home for BBC titles like Frozen Planet and Planet Earth II (pictured).
“ZDF and the BBC are united by the aspiration to offer the highest quality programs across all genres,” said Norbert Himmler, chief content officer of ZDF, in a statement. “The new substantial agreement consolidates the traditional and successful cooperation between the two broadcasters and strengthens our position against increasingly fierce competition – especially in times of limited financial resources.”
“Since BBC Studios merged last year as a fully integrated production and distribution business, partnerships like this allow us to work even closer in developing and co-producing content with a strategic partner like ZDF,” added Philipp Schmid, MD of BBC Studios Germany. “This allows us to significantly broaden our creative and commercial activities in the German market with ZDF, while the depth and variety of our programming will continue to provide wide-ranging opportunities to our other partners in the territory.”