As public broadcasters the world over grapple with the challenges of fulfilling public policy mandates while also competing with global-facing content companies, the CBC and Australia’s ABC have struck a strategic alliance they say will allow them to pool resources and co-develop and co-finance more ambitious content.
The pubcasters on Monday unveiled a freshly minted Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Banff World Media Festival (BANFF). Under the three-year pact, the pair will jointly develop English-language drama, comedy, factual, children’s programming and podcasts. The agreement also includes opportunities for co-financing and format sales of drama and children’s projects.
While CBC has previously worked closely with ABC, this is the first time it has signed a formal MOU agreement with a foreign pubcaster. CBC previously picked up the broadcast rights to ABC programs Ronny Chieng: International Student, Mustangs FC, Hannah Gadsby’s Nakedy Nudes, Hannah Gadsby’s Oz and the format rights to the ABC’s original docuseries You Can’t Ask That. A Canadian version of the latter series (pictured) launches on CBC’s Gem streaming service later this month.
Elsewhere, the MOU also calls for employee exchanges, the sharing of technology and tools to improve tracking and verification of the accuracy of news content, collaboration between the pubcasters’ respective podcasting divisions and the co-development of a media literacy initiative to equip schools and educators across both countries with the analytical skills and tools to combat misinformation.
This story originally appeared in Playback Daily.