CBC and BBC pledge to increase collaborations

The organizations' scripted and factual teams have started ongoing conversations to look for coproduction opportunities.

Catherine Tait and Tony HallFollowing the European Broadcasting Union’s (EBU) General Assembly last month, CBC and U.K. public broadcaster BBC have committed to future collaborations across a number of verticals.

The organizations announced Thursday that they are working together to develop new ideas in drama, factual, news, current affairs and radio. The agreement was made between CBC/Radio-Canada president and CEO Catherine Tait and BBC director-general Tony Hall during the EBU, which took place in Oslo.

While the partnership builds upon existing ties between the CBC and BBC, this represents the first time the organizations have made a coordinated commitment to collaboration.

The pubcasters’ scripted and factual teams have started regular, ongoing conversations to look for coproduction opportunities. Podcasting is also an area where the pair see synergies.

Recent collaborations involving CBC and BBC include the Canada/U.K. coproduction docs Takaya: Lone Wolf (Cineflix, Talesmith, Wild Wolf Media) and Jumbo: The Life of an Elephant Superstar (Humble Bee Films, Infield Fly Productions).

The BBC agreement comes less than a month after CBC inked a three-year MOU with Australian pubcaster ABC, and comes at a time when public broadcasters across the globe are finding common ground as they grapple with the challenges presented by digital services in their respective territories. BBC director-general Tony Hall (pictured left) has been vocal about the myriad challenges faced by the BBC as a growing number of U.S.-based digital services become further entrenched in the U.K. market. Meanwhile, Tait (pictured right), reiterated last month that the urgency for partnerships between pubcasters is growing.

In a joint statement, CBC and BBC said the partnership will allow them to amplify their public service missions, invest in local creative industries and bring fresh IP to audiences as the pubcasters reinvent how they deliver their services to new generations.