CBC boosts collaboration with Germany’s ZDF

The pubcasters signed an MOU at Berlinale to codevelop scripted and factual content, marking CBC's third strategic international partnership in less than a year.
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CBC has broadened its international partnerships with a newly-signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with German public broadcaster ZDF.

The three-year agreement, which was ratified at the Berlin International Film Festival, will see CBC and ZDF co-develop scripted and factual content, as well as live events, for their linear, on-demand and digital platforms. The pubcasters will also work together on improvements for verifying news accuracy.

CBC is currently coproducing four-part docuseries Writing the Land with ZDF and Franco-German network ARTE, which features Canadian writers who reveal the injustices that challenge the notion of Canada as an inclusive country.

Past collaborations and acquisitions from ZDF include documentaries In Search of a Perfect World, Nature’s Cleanup Crew, The Kingdom: How Fungi Made Our World and China Rises.

The agreement will “bring audiences in Canada and Germany the best of us both,” according to statements from CBC president Catherine Tait and ZDF director general Thomas Bellut, and strengthen opportunities for Canadian and German creatives.

“Our position is that we must collaborate to compete as public broadcasters,” said Tait. “Wherever possible we seek like-minded partners to help us bring Canadian creative talent to the world.”

Bellut has also joined the Public Media Alliance’s Global Task Force, which is chaired by Tait. The initiative works to promote core values of public media, including independence and accountability, to ensure public trust.

This is the third collaboration agreement CBC has signed with international pubcasters within the last year. CBC announced an MOU with Australia’s ABC at the Banff World Media Festival in June 2019, and followed up with a collaboration announcement with the BBC in July.