BBC Worldwide to invest $332 million in premium content in next financial year
LONDON — BBC Worldwide will launch a new channel called BBC Brit, CEO Tim Davie said Monday. He also reported that it is on track to invest £200 million ($332 million) in premium content in the next financial year.
BBC Brit will offer premium factual entertainment programs aimed at male viewers, Davie said. It will blend fact with fun, airing the best of British content from motoring, business, documentaries and adventure to food, music and sport.
He said: “There is a gap in the global market for a male-skewing fact-ent destination. BBC Brit will capture the maverick spirit of our premium factual entertainment programs.”
The roll-out of BBC Brit, as well as the two previously announced new brands, BBC Earth and BBC First, will take place on a market-by-market basis, with all three expected to launch in the coming financial year, sitting alongside established brands such as BBC America.
Davie revealed a shared ambition between BBC Worldwide and BBC Television to see BBC Earth brought to life on both bbc.co.uk and bbc.com, the international version of bbc.co.uk, through a new BBC Earth section. This collaboration between the BBC Natural History Unit and BBC Worldwide would draw on BBC shows, with video content of the natural world at the heart of BBC Earth.
BBC Worldwide is to back an epic drama about British deportees to Australia in the late 18th century, penned by Jimmy McGovern and produced by RSJ Films, he said.
As previously announced, other new content includes “Intruders,” a BBC America original series produced by BBC Worldwide Productions, which will go into production in February. The cast of the eight-part thriller from writer and executive producer Glen Morgan (“The X-Files”) will be led by John Simm (“State of Play,” “Doctor Who”).
Davie also unveiled a first-look deal with Lonesome Pine, a fledgling indie founded last year by Lesley Douglas with Aschlin Ditta. The joint development partnership will see BBC Worldwide provide investment and global market support in return for exclusive distribution rights.