BBC Studios’ ‘Seven Worlds’ secures Chinese partners

China’s CCTV9 and Tencent Penguin Pictures have officially boarded BBC Studios’ landmark natural history series Seven Worlds, One Planet as co-producers, further bolstering collaboration between parties.

The pact was signed at BBC Studios’ Natural History and Science Open Day in Bristol, which welcomes international broadcasters and platform to learn about the latest from the distributor’s premium factual output.

Seven Worlds, One Planet — which reveals how the geography of each continent has shaped its unique animal life — is produced by BBC Studios Natural History Unit (NHU), co-produced with BBC America, ZDF and France Télévisions, as well as Tencent Penguin Pictures and China Media Group CCTV9.

It will air in China simultaneously on both CCTV and Tencent later this year.

The programme was on offer to global buyers at the BBC Studios showcase in Liverpool in February, though CCTV and Tencent’s involvement was not confirmed at that time.

Shilun Shi, director of programming for CCTV9, said: “We’ve been partnering with BBC Studios for some time to bring premium documentaries to our audiences in China. Our cooperation can be dated back as early as 2008 when Wild China was first co-produced between the two broadcasters.

“Over the years, we have been co-producing landmarks including Africa, Blue Planet II and Dynasties. We are looking forward to deepening our working relationship with BBC Studios on more fruitful and successful projects and believe it will help benefit the whole industry.”

Lexian Zhu, deputy director of the Documentary Content Management Center at Tencent Video, added: “BBC Studios is the premium documentary content provider in the world and our partnership in co-production reflects Chinese audience’s interest in top level productions. We will continue to work with BBC Studios to bring best-in-class programmes to digital viewers in China.”

David Weiland, EVP of Asia for BBC Studios, added: “We are excited to extend our long standing and mutually beneficial relationships with CCTV and Tencent. By partnering with companies of this calibre we are able to bring the BBC’s world class natural history to Chinese audiences and invest in the next generation of landmark natural history programmes.”

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