Spanish broadcaster backs 'Great Events'

MADRID — Spanish pubcaster RTVE has taken a financial stake in BBC Worldwide’s six-part TV series “Nature’s Great Events.”

“Nature’s” 50-minute episodes turn on the earth’s most stunning natural events, and what makes them happen.

Budgeted at £6 million ($9.5 million), series is the fruit of a pioneering co-production deal for Spain signed in 2007 by the BBC and Madrid-based company Wanda Films.

“Now, both RTVE and Wanda have teamed to jointly exploit all the series’ rights in the Spanish market,” Wanda CEO Jose Maria Morales told Daily Variety. RTVE will premiere the series in Spain.

From September, RTVE’s commercial web La 1 will program ” Nature’s Great Events” Sundays at 1.30 p.m., the same time slot where it has been broadcasting the 11 episodes of another BBC’s TV series, “Planet Earth,” which averaged a solid 15% share and 1.3 million viewers.

Wanda, one of Spain’s top indie arthouse film producers and distributors, has previously acquired Spanish rights to other high-profile BBC documentaries such as pic “Deep Blue,” “Planet Earth” and its feature film spinoff “Earth.”

Launched in the U.K. early this year by channels BBC One and BBC HD simultaneously, “Nature’s Great Events” includes Botswana’s great flood, the greening of Africa’s Serengeti plains and the massive annual bloom of plankton in the northern Pacific Ocean.

“We would like to get back to working soon with the BBC and establish a continuing collaboration,” said TVE director Javier Pons Friday, during the presentation in Madrid of “Nature’s Great Events,” coinciding with the International Day for Biological Diversity.

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