Tony Hall, director general of the BBC

Discovery to launch global SVOD service powered by BBC’s natural history and factual catalog
04 de abril de 2019

Discovery, Inc. and BBC Studios jointly announced a series of agreements, reigniting their historic relationship with a significant multi-million pound global content partnership spanning a library of premium factual series to power a new global streaming service, and a bespoke development deal for BBC Studios’ iconic genres of natural history, animals, adventure, science, travel, space, history and civilization documentaries. 

Additionally, the two companies have concluded the future of UKTV’s channels business in the UK with a structured split that complements the strategic focus and commercial business of both organizations.

The new ten-year content partnership, effective in all territories outside the UK, Ireland and Greater China, will make Discovery the exclusive global home of BBC landmark natural history programmes in SVOD, including the Planet Earth, Blue Planet and Life collection of titles, the recently lauded Dynasties and others, as well as future BBC-commissioned landmark series from BBC Studios, following their linear transmission.

Discovery also acquires SVOD rights to hundreds of hours of BBC programming across factual genres. All of this iconic content will form one of the pillars of a new global streaming service, which will also include some of the best of Discovery’s programming library, original content created for the service, and experiences and offerings that go well beyond video. The service will launch by 2020 and will form a key part of Discovery’s unique and growing portfolio of direct-to-consumer services that will enable fans to ‘view and do.’ These services will also be made available to distribution partners for retail.

Discovery and BBC Studios have also signed a bespoke development deal to create new landmark factual content for Discovery that furthers audiences’ discovery of the world for both linear and digital distribution. This deal reunites the two media and entertainment brands that worked together on unrivaled natural history series such as Planet Earth, Walking with Dinosaurs, Life and Blue Planet. The two companies will co-fund a dedicated development team within BBC Studios.

“As the two market leaders in landmark natural history and iconic factual programming, Tony and I look forward to working together again - our teams represent over 100 years of combined experience. Discovery will be taking that expertise and creating the definitive global streaming product for curious and passionate viewers of all generations who want the most trusted, family friendly storytelling in the world,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO.

“The BBC makes outstanding natural history and science programmes. They are ground-breaking and demonstrate the quality and depth of our know-how. It is vital that we keep investing in and growing them for the future. This is our largest ever content sales deal. It will mean BBC Studios and Discovery will work together to take our content right across the globe through a new world-beating streaming service. Global subscribers are in for a real treat: the best content on a great new platform,” added Tony Hall, director general of the BBC.
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