BBC hit show Strictly Come Dancing is proving a format success for BBC Worldwide, as broadcasters in Denmark, Poland, Belgium and New Zealand sign up for local versions of the show. They follow the example of Australia and Italy where the format of the knockout ballroom dancing competition has already raked in massive audiences.
There will be a flurry of dance activity on TV screens around the world this spring as New Zealand public broadcaster TVNZ and commercial channels TVN in Poland and TV2 in Denmark launch their own versions of Strictly Come Dancing. Belgian commercial broadcaster VTM follows in autumn, putting Flemish celebrities through their paces.
Due to debut on TVNZ's flagship channel TV One, as "Dancing with the Stars", later in 2005, the sale follows the extraordinary success of the format in Australia, where it launched on Channel 7 in 2004 to audiences as high as 2.1 million. The second series has recently premiered Channel 7 to a record-breaking 37% audience share.
In Italy, Ballando con le Stelle (Dancing With the Stars) was such a success - with an audience shares of over 30% - that broadcaster RAI UNO commissioned extra episodes. Transmitting live every Saturday, the show is perfect for the Italian market, providing celebrities with the opportunity to show off their talents.
Commenting on the success of the format internationally, Colin Jarvis, BBC Worldwide's Director of Programmes and Operations said: "The reaction to the show from broadcasters and audiences around the world has been phenomenal and proves yet again the strength of the in-house format development team within BBC Entertainment, the same stable responsible for the huge international hits, The Weakest Link and Dog Eat Dog."
The Strictly Come Dancing format is expected to generate income of £20m over five years.
BBC Worldwide is expected to conclude more sales deals for the format at its TV market, BBC Showcase.