BBC Worldwide Adds Jared Leto's 'Artifact'

LONDON — BBC Worldwide has strengthened its position as the world’s leading distributor of music-related TV content with a number of acquisitions, including Jared Leto’s documentary “Artifact.”

BBC Worldwide has nabbed world TV rights (excluding U.S.) to “Artifact,” which was helmed by Leto under the pseudonym Bartholomew Cubbins. The film follows Leto’s band 30 Seconds to Mars as they dispute a $30 million lawsuit with their record label EMI, whilst writing and recording their third album “This Is War.”

“Artifact” won the People’s Choice Award for best documentary at the Toronto Film Festival, and the audience award at the Gotham Independent Film Awards. The film will be launched to television buyers at BBC Worldwide’s Showcase event in Liverpool, U.K. this week.

This acquisition follows the success of BBC Worldwide’s distribution of Dave Grohl’s documentary “Sound City,” which explored the closure of the famous Sound City studio in Los Angeles due to the increased demand for digitally produced music. It was sold to 87 territories globally and played out recently on BBC Four in the U.K. The music from the documentary won two Grammys last month, for Best Rock Song for “Cut Me Some Slack,” featuring Paul McCartney, and best compilation soundtrack.

2014 has already seen BBC Worldwide re-appointed as the international television distributor for the Brit Awards, this time extending the relationship for three years (2014-2016). Fans in 107 territories from the U.S. to Australia tuned in to watch acts including the Arctic Monkeys, Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams and Bruno Mars perform at the event in London on Feb. 19.

Salim Mukaddam, director of music at BBC Worldwide, commented: “BBC Worldwide has established itself as the home for the best music television programming in the world. Having represented titles for the likes of Beyonce, Britney Spears, Coldplay and Radiohead in the past, we are an organization that major artists and their management teams trust to maximize the reach of their projects.”

Other recent sales successes include TV and DVD sales for Robbie Williams’ “One Night at the Palladium” and Beyonce’s self-reflecting documentary “Life Is But a Dream.” Williams’ show was sold to 92 territories including Australia, Germany and Sweden. The DVD, which was published for Christmas 2013, sold almost 50,000 units in the U.K. and Ireland, making it the third biggest music DVD of the year.

Beyonce’s “Life Is But a Dream” is BBC Worldwide’s most successful music TV title to date with BBC Worldwide securing distribution in 203 territories across every continent except North America, where the title had its global premiere on HBO. The DVD, which was released by BBC Worldwide in the U.K. and Ireland sold over 78,000 copies in Q4 2013, making it the second biggest music DVD title of the year, behind One Direction’s “This Is Us.”

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