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BBC Worldwide says no long term HBO copro deal yet

BBC Worldwide is continuing to expand its international production reach following the launch of eight international subsidiaries in the last 18 months. However, Wayne Garvie, director of content and production at BBC Worldwide, dismissed reports that a coproduction deal with US cable network HBO had already been closed.

BBC Worldwide has launched wholly owned production units in France and India, as well as two in the US, and has acquired stakes in producers including Australia’s Freehand, Canada’s Temple Street, Argentina’s GP Producciones and Russia’s MIR Reality Production.

Garvie told TBIvision: "There’s a couple of territories, there’s a couple of other places that we’re interested in but our focus, now, internationally, is making sure these companies work."

He added that he expects the French arm, run by former Air Productions boss Jean-Louis Blot, to score its first commission soon, a local adaptation of a BBC Worldwide format.

The commercial arm of the British public broadcaster has been widely reported to be in talks with HBO, the premium cable network behind The Sopranos and Entourage, over a long term coproduction arrangement. The rumours were stoked by the news that BBC drama boss Jane Tranter is to join BBC Worldwide as executive VP, programming and production, based in Los Angeles, in January.

However, Garvie said: "What HBO deal? We haven’t started talking to anyone. There were so many rumours over the summer, I say ‘don’t believe any of it.’"