The exclusive agreement will see BesTV become the only place, from early next year, that Top Gear fans will be able to see the show in China.
The deal, agreed between the commercial arm of the BBC and SMG’s Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group, will see a raft of Top Gear content go out on BesTV.
As well as the original UK series – including the upcoming season 24 – the agreement covers five series of Top Gear USA, six series of Top Gear Korea (pictured) and both series of Top Gear China.
The deal officially signed off at a ceremony in Shanghai, by Zhang Wei, president and director of Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group and David Weiland, executive VP Asia (also pictured, top, Wang Jianjun, director-general and president of SMG and chair of Oriental Pearl,and Paul Dempsey, president of global markets for BBC Worldwide).
“We are extremely pleased to extend our relationship with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group,’Dempsey said. “We first worked with them in 2008 when we provided factual progammes to their BesTV platform.”
“They are also our partners for CBeebies, where we have a programme block on the channel. This new Top Gear partnership allows us to reach more of our fans in China with distinctive, quality programmes that Chinese audiences demand and appreciate.”
Worldwide has several deals in place with SMG. With SMG Pictures it has coproduced feature doc Earth: One Amazing Day and also to bring Sherlock: The Abominable Bride to Chinese cinemas.