International demand for British drama is incredibly strong because audiences know they will be treated to compelling stories, expertly told. We’ve got world-class acting and production talent and our writers are on another level.Paul Dempsey, President Global Markets, BBC Worldwide
Date: 16.02.2018     Last updated: 19.06.2018 at 13.44
Ahead of its annual Showcase event in Liverpool, BBC Worldwide today announced that Chinese audiences will soon to be able to enjoy critically acclaimed drama series, McMafia (known in China as The Godmans) after AVOD/SVOD deals were agreed with local IPTV service providers OPG and Youku. The series will also make its television debut in Sweden after linear broadcasting rights were agreed with the national public broadcaster SVT.

Inspired by the best-selling non-fiction book by Misha Glenny, the eight part series set in the international world of organised crime, stars James Norton (Happy Valley, War and Peace). The series made its premiere on BBC One in the UK, AMC in the US and international premiere on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, (excluding the UK, China, US and Canada). 

The sales to China and Sweden are recent examples of international deals for British drama. Over the past three months, over 3,300 hours of BBC Worldwide’s extensive drama catalogue has been sold internationally, as the appetite for premium British drama continues apace. 

With countries ranging from Korea to Croatia, and Israel to Italy, premium drama series that have proved to be popular with international audiences include Doctor Foster, Call the Midwife, Maigret and Death in Paradise

Drama is a key genre at BBC Worldwide Showcase 2018: the world’s largest international television market hosted by a single distributor, now in its 42nd year. Over 700 of the world’s top TV buyers, award-winning producers and A-list talent attend the four day event (18 – 20 February) which offers 3,000 hours of British TV content available to view, alongside genre premieres, masterclasses and insight sessions from industry experts. 

Paul Dempsey, President Global Markets, BBC Worldwide, said: “International demand for British drama is incredibly strong because audiences know they will be treated to compelling stories, expertly told. We’ve got world-class acting and production talent and our writers are on another level. Just look at some of the titles we’re launching at Showcase: Press, The Split and Doctor Who. Where else could you enjoy the work of Mike Bartlett, Abi Morgan and Chris Chibnall all in one place?” 

In Asia, almost 580 hours of drama content has been acquired between Korea, Greater China, South East Asia and India with The Durrells, Orphan Black and Doctor Foster proving to be popular acquisitions. Clients included Zee Café in India, SVOD service Astro in SEA, TVOD/SVOD provider SK Broadband and FTA broadcaster KBS in Korea. 

Over in Australia and New Zealand approximately 600 drama hours have been sold to local broadcasters. ABC in Australia and Prime in New Zealand, local partners for the Doctor Who franchise, picked up the Christmas Special, Doctor Who: Twice Upon A Time.  The Last Post was picked up by ABC and TVNZ. Returning series Call The Midwife,  Death in Paradise, Silent Witness, Doctor Foster and Unforgotten were renewed through multiple windows with BBC First, ABC, Nine and Seven in Australia and TVNZ, Prime and UKTV in New Zealand.  

In Western Europe, over 1,000 hours of drama have been sold across the territories, with SS-GBand Unforgottenlicensed to RTVE in Spain and Maigret (Series Two) to France 3. In Germany, AMC acquired non-linear rights for Born to Kill and Top Of The Lake: China Girl, whilst Sherlock (Series Four) and Sherlock: The Abominal Bride were licensed to RSI in Switzerland. Broken was sold to YLE in Finland and long-running medical drama Casualty was picked up by TV2 in Denmark. InSweden TV8 have acquired Father Brown (Series Six) and Sherlock (Series Four) while SVT purchased Call The Midwife (Series Seven) and Death in Paradise (Series Seven) and TV4 licensed Maigret (Series Two). NPO in Holland picked up a raft of crime drama titles such as DCI Banks, Scott and Bailey and Silent Witness (Series Twenty).   

British drama is also enjoying continued popularity across Central and Eastern Europe with 445 hours of content sold across the region. Rillington Place and Top of the Lake: China Girl was sold to HRT in Croatia,  Doctor Foster (S1-2)to MTVA in Hungary, Father Brown (Series Six) to Czech TV, Death in Paradise (S1- 4) to ETV in Estonia and Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time to Sonyin Russia.  In Poland Maigret and Pride and Prejudice were sold to TVP

In Latin America, nearly 630 hours of drama content have been sold with significant digital deals happening in the Southern Cone with broadcasters such as VTR in Chile and Cablevision in Argentina for Doctor Who (S1-10), The Last Post and Ripper Street (S1-4) which are now available as part of their On-Demand offer. In addition, subscribers of Flow, Cablevision’s digital platform, will now be able to enjoy Rillington Place and Luther (S1- 4). Meanwhile pan-regional partners satisfy the ever-increasing demand for British drama with Sony Crackle’s digital platform broadening their offering to include Top of the Lake (Series 1 and 2) and Born to Kill, whilst cable operator AMC bought Maigret (S1- 2) and DirectTV offers Paula to Spanish-speaking Latin America. 

In the US crime drama Retribution (aka One of Us), starring Georgina Campbell (Broadchurch) and Joe Dempsie (Game of Thrones) was sold to Netflix. Additionally, BBC AMERICA has signed on to co-produce a fifth installment of the critically acclaimed, multiple Emmy® Award-nominated series Luther, starring Idris Elba. 

Meanwhile in Israel, public broadcaster IPBC picked up Last Tango in Halifax (S1-3 and 2016 Special) whilst Kenyan free to air broadcaster KTN licensed The Musketeers (S 1 & 2). 




For more information, please contact:

Louise Loffel

Communications Manager CEMA

BBC Worldwide