Starz Entertainment and BBC Worldwide Productions Forge Innovative Development, Production and Distribution Agreement
via press release:
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Aug. 8, 2011 — Starz Entertainment and BBC Worldwide Productions announced today an innovative multi-year agreement to develop, produce, and distribute premium television series. These series will be co-developed by Starz and BBC Worldwide Productions and will air on Starz’s television networks. The new series will be one-hour dramas that appeal to the Starz and international audiences. BBC Worldwide Productions will produce the series, in close partnership with Starz’s Original Programming team. The programs, to be announced at a later date, will be distributed by Starz in the United States and English-speaking Canada. BBC Worldwide will distribute the series internationally.
“When I came to Starz, we determined that forging strong international partnerships would play center stage in financing our ramp-up of dynamic original programming,” said Chris Albrecht, chairman and CEO of Starz, LLC. “This exciting partnership with BBC Worldwide Productions is a major step in that direction. It will allow us to provide Starz subscribers more original programming, while delivering enhanced opportunity across all our domestic distribution businesses including Anchor Bay and Starz Digital Media. Jane Tranter and the incredible teams at BBC Worldwide Productions and BBC Worldwide will be terrific partners, and we are very pleased to be able to extend our relationship with them through this venture.”
Commented Jane Tranter, Head of BBC Worldwide Productions, “We’re in a uniquely similar place to Starz. With Chris’s arrival, Starz made a name in originals and is defining themselves as a true player in the U.S. premium cable territory. At BBC Worldwide Productions, we’ve hit our stride in the scripted business after starting these efforts just over two years ago. Working with Starz on ‘Torchwood: Miracle Day’ has been a collaborative and invigorating journey. We’re very much looking forward to bringing Starz’ subscribers more of the programming they’re coming to expect – intelligent, groundbreaking, and honest storytelling, which is synonymous with our BBC roots and values.”
For Starz, BBC Worldwide Productions, and BBC Worldwide, the partnership represents a new and innovative approach to developing, producing, distributing, and financing potentially more than 100 hours of globally-appealing series. Both companies see significant strategic benefits from the globally focused approach.
“Our partnership with BBC Worldwide Productions and BBC Worldwide allows Starz to more quickly capitalize on the strategic opportunity presented by the increasing global consumption of US premium TV series,” added John Penney, executive vice president, strategy and business development for Starz.
BBC Worldwide Productions started its scripted efforts when Jane Tranter, former Controller of BBC Fiction, arrived to run the company in January 2009. Shortly thereafter Julie Gardner, former Head of Drama, BBC Wales, joined as SVP, Scripted, BBC Worldwide Productions. Tranter and Gardner have been responsible for a plethora of titles in their careers including “Doctor Who,” “Torchwood,” “Little Dorrit,” “Bleak House,” “Girl in a Cafe,” “Ashes to Ashes.” and “State of Play.” “Torchwood: Miracle Day” is the first scripted series produced by BBC Worldwide Productions, currently in its first season on STARZ. The company has over 20 scripted projects in sold development with various cable and network partners, as well as 10 unscripted series currently in production.
About Starz Entertainment
Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service provider operating in the United States. The company offers 17 premium channels including the flagship STARZ® and ENCORE® brands with approximately 18.8 million and 33.1 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs in total more than 1,000 movies and original series every month across its pay TV channels. Starz Entertainment is recognized as a pay TV leader in providing HD, On Demand, HD On Demand and online advanced services for its STARZ, ENCORE and MOVIEPLEX brands. Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation and is attributed to the Liberty Starz tracking stock group (NASDAQ: LSTZA).
About BBC Worldwide Productions
BBC Worldwide Productions, led by Jane Tranter, is based in Los Angeles and develops and produces scripted and non-scripted projects for U.S. cable and broadcast networks, as well as digital platforms. The production company is responsible for the smash hit “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC), “Top Gear” (HISTORY), “What Not to Wear” (TLC) and “Torchwood: Miracle Day” (STARZ). BBC Worldwide Productions sits within one of six core businesses that form BBC Worldwide, the main commercial arm and wholly-owned subsidiary of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).