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China’s Youku Inks Deal With BBC Studios for Scripted Series

Chinese streaming platform, and Alibaba subsidiary, Youku will exponentially increase its catalog of British scripted series thanks to a new licensing deal it has signed with BBC Studios.

Building on the two companies’ existing licensing partnership, this newly announced content deal offers the Middle Kingdom platform an additional 80 hours of BBC Studios dramas.

Partners with BBC Studios for more than a decade, Youku will now add HD versions of comedies like “Yes, Minister” and “Yes, Prime Minister,” and recent dramas like “Luther,” “Sandition,” and “Good Omens” to a platform that already offers its users more than 350 hours of BBC Studios content.

Due to hit the service this month, the new titles include all four season of “Sherlock” and the full 28-season catalog of “Doctor Who,” which the streamer will hold in exclusivity in the Chinese market.

“The content produced and distributed by BBC Studios has always been the unrivalled representative of British creativity,” said Xie Ying, Youku TV Series Center GM.

“We are delighted to introduce these distinctive series to the Chinese market through our ongoing collaboration. Our ambition is to be the number one platform for British drama, and we are committed to delivering the freshest content to Chinese users.”

Phil Hardman, senior VP commercial operations and strategy, Asia at BBC Studios, added: “It is great to see our relationship with Youku going from strength to strength with this agreement to show more quality British contemporary and classic drama in China.”

“We look forward to contributing to the prosperity of China’s developing television industry through collaboration with local players, while also helping them to explore overseas markets and to tell Chinese stories around the world.”

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