HONG KONG — The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and China Central Television (CCTV) are to set up a center for story development.

The center is part of an agreement between the Chinese state-backed broadcast giant and BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the British pubcaster, that was signed Monday (Nov. 18) at the Sichuan TV Festival in Chengdu, China.

They said that the center will develop documentaries for TV audiences which will focus on the Chinese and Asian markets, but also possibly target global audiences. The deal is expected to last an initial three years.

Also part of the agreement was a commitment to expand their existing co-production and distribution relationships to include more TV landmarks, to explore live event projects, and to even expand their distribution relationship beyond TV.

“This MOU is a significant milestone in the history of BBC Worldwide’s business in China and in our relationship with CCTV. The projects we will be working on will enable us to bring our flagship BBC Earth content to audiences across China and help bring together UK and Chinese creative talent,” said Paul Dempsey, BBC Worldwide global markets president, in a prepared statement.
BBC Worldwide and [documentary channel] CCTV9 previously announced co-production deals for science series “Generation Earth,” “Wonders of Life” and “Africa.” In April this year the BBC’s commercial arm confirmed a co-production agreement with CCTV9 on wildlife show “Hidden Kingdoms.”

“We are excited that with this MOU, we will be able to extend our partnership to reach new audiences,” said Liu Wen, MD of CCTV9.