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BBC draws 640 buyers to Showcase

Netflix's Ted Sarandos delivers keynote

LONDON — BBC Worldwide’s annual U.K. sales market, Showcase, is expecting more than 640 international buyers this year, up almost 100 on 2011’s event.

Taking place in Liverpool, northern England, for the first time, Worldwide is beefing up the market’s appeal by staging a one-day talking shop about the growing importance of digital distribution.

The keynote speaker is Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. Other contributors include social TV specialist Miso’s CEO, Somrat Niyogi; IPTV combo Maxdome Germany’s managing director Christoph Bellmer; and Scott Lorson, CEO of IPTV company FetchTV Australia.

Steve Macallister, prexy and managing director, sales and distribution, BBC Worldwide, said: “With a significant increase in delegates from America and Asia, and many digital clients attending for the first time, including Hulu, Netflix, Yota, Onet, CME and FetchTV Australia, we have exceeded our expectations and look forward to welcoming a record-breaking number of delegates.”

Showcase runs Feb. 26 to 29 and is expected to gross in excess of £50 million ($75.8 million) for Worldwide, which distribs BBC shows and content from other companies.

Shows being pushed by at Showcase include Sky TV’s “Sinbad” and crime caper “Mad Dogs,” ITV detective skein “Whitechapel,” and the BBC’s Edwardian saga “Parade’s End” plus its breakout hit, “Call the Midwife.”