PBS America has closed a deal with BBC Worldwide to acquire 11 factual titles, totalling 23 hours of content, all of which have previously aired in the UK on either BBC One or BBC Two. This is PBS America’s second major content deal in as many weeks and follows the broadcaster’s deal with international distributor Off The Fence to acquire 21 titles that had aired in the U.S. on either TLC or The Smithsonian Channel.
Amongst the titles covered by the deal with BBC Worldwide is Lost Cities of the Maya, a Timewatch special with Kathryn Reese Taylor; Pyramid, a one hour special featuring dramatic reconstructions and CGI; Nile, a three hour historical mini-series featuring dramatic reconstructions; and the Supervolcano, the Emmy nominated reality-based drama set in Yellowstone National Park. These titles are set to begin airing on PBS America from June 2013.
“We are really excited to be acquiring from BBC Worldwide for the first time, bringing together the best of UK and US public service programming in one place”, said Richard Kingsbury, General Manager of PBS America. “We have picked titles that build upon interest areas that our viewers already love, including ancient civilisations and the natural world. As many other factual broadcasters broaden their output in search of mass market viewing, we are more than happy to build on our position as a home for factual programming with real depth and quality that enriches viewers.”
While Lisa Rousseau, Head of UK, Ireland and Pan European Television for BBC Worldwide, added, “We’re proud to be working with PBS America to bring these titles to their UK viewers. BBC Worldwide has enjoyed a long and productive partnership with PBS in the US, and we hope this deal will be the first of many for their new channel here.”