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16/11/2010

BBC And Discovery Extend Partnership

A further partnership deal between the BBC and Discovery Communications has been announced.
The agreement will extend the existing North American co-production partnership with the BBC and Discovery building further on their strategic programming relationship.
It will see co-productions and programme acquisitions for North America running for an additional two years to 2014.
This partnership has already produced widely acclaimed global programming events such as Life, Planet Earth, Blue Planet and Wonders of the Solar System.
"This new co-production agreement continues a tradition of developing world class global hits such as Planet Earth and Life that began 25 years ago when Discovery launched in the US," said Mark Hollinger, President of Discovery Networks International.
The Director of BBC Vision, Jana Bennett, said: "This extended deal with Discovery enables us to continue producing the most ambitious and creative landmark factual programming for viewers until 2014 and provides exceptional value for licence fee payers.
"It will enable us to build on some of the natural history and specialist factual co-productions we already have planned, such as David Attenborough's epic series about the cycle of seasons, Frozen Planet, for 2011."
In addition, BBC Worldwide is selling to Discovery its 50% interest in the global TV channels joint venture Animal Planet and Liv for $156m.
Following the exit of this joint venture, BBC Worldwide will concentrate on the expansion of its wholly owned channel brands, which include BBC America, BBC Entertainment, BBC Knowledge, BBC Lifestyle, BBC HD and CBeebies, which reach 107m subscribers in over 100 countries.
"The launch and growth of BBC-branded international channels is an important strategic priority for BBC Worldwide and the sale of the 50% interest in Animal Planet and Liv will enable us to bring increased focus to these fast-growing channels, and to progress a number of other strategic priorities" said John Smith, Chief Executive Officer, BBC Worldwide.
"The sale is also consistent with the BBC Trust review of BBC Worldwide which was published in November 2009."
Commenting on the sale by BBC Worldwide to Discovery of Animal Planet and Liv, Mark Hollinger added: "Acquiring BBC Worldwide's rights to the Animal Planet and Liv channel brands provides Discovery a strategic opportunity to create additional revenue and growth opportunities for our global business."
Animal Planet is a global channel brand reaching nearly 250 million cumulative subscribers in more than 170 markets across Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Liv is a general entertainment channel brand reaching 24 million cumulative subscribers in 33 Latin American markets.
(BMcC/GK)
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