London TV Screenings Insights: Rebecca Glashow, CEO, BBC Global Media

The Famous Five

Ahead of buyers landing in the UK for London TV Screenings and BBC Studios Showcase next week, TBI has talked to the bosses of more than 25 distribution companies to test the temperature of the global content industry and to find out how the next 12 months are shaping up.

We kick off with Rebecca Glashow, CEO at BBC Global Media & Streaming, who discusses the increasing transparency around challenges in the marketplace and exploring new commissioning models.

Rebecca Glashow (Source: BBC Studios)

What three words would you use to describe the state of the TV/streaming industry as a whole right now?

In flux, exciting, resilient

What three words would you use to describe the state of the distribution sector right now?

Creative, flexible, opportunistic

With fewer shows being commissioned, how are you securing your pipeline?

In addition to our own production units and labels, we have a wide range of relationships with the UK and global indie community. Our partnerships take all different forms from our own BBC Studios Labels, first look deals and then partnering on individual projects with producers.

Our team are constantly talking to producers in all stages of development with their projects as well as staying across the market. A lot of our long-standing relationships have grown from partnering on a single project at the beginning. We’re being thoughtful and innovative about partnerships. We’re looking beyond traditional commissioners to new models and reinvigorating co-commissioning and partnerships.

A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder (Source: BBC)

What is the single biggest difference in the discussions you’re having with buyers today compared with 12 months ago?

There is more transparency about the pressure and needs in the marketplace, felt by all parties. Buyers are more open to working with other partners and to suggestions around creative windowing and rights models. As example of partnerships would be our recent agreements around The Famous Five, which is a co-production with ZDF in Germany in association with The MediaPro Studio across Latin America, Spain and Portugal.

How do you expect global streamer demands for rights to change in 2024 compared with 2023?

We’ve already seen from deals being announced in the news that global streamers are becoming more flexible and open to discussion on rights assessing each piece of content and its economics on a case-by-case basis. They are looking to further prioritise not only the titles they need but the rights they need on those titles.

Where does opportunity lie for you in 2024?

In our continued ability to balance how we meet the needs of global streamers but also be attentive to local and multi-regional buyers.

We continue to seek new co-production partners from around the world. An example of this from Europe would be ZDF in Germany, which has come on board as co-production partners with us on a variety of projects including A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder and The Chelsea Detective.

FAST is providing a new route to monetise our high-quality catalogue and bring its content to new audiences. We now have 33 channels across the US and EMEA we’re seeing both performance and revenue grow. We think there is more opportunity to expand and find new audiences and commercial opportunities in the area.

The Chelsea Detective (Source: BBC)

Tell us in no more than two sentences about the biggest problem facing the distribution industry and what needs to change so it can be overcome.

Distributors used to work in a model of, ‘Here’s what we have, what would you like?’. Now, they are looking at how to be more collaborative and asking, ‘How do we get you what you need?’

Tell us about your top show at Showcase & why we should buy it

BBC Studios hosts the largest single distributor content event in London and our content comes from the best of the creative industry in the UK. We’ll be showing up with powerhouse scripted, factual, formats and kids content – you can’t ask us to pick one of our children, we love them all!

Read Next