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Format Awards

BBC Studios signs Russian scripted deal

Jodie Whittaker in long-running BBC hit Doctor Who

BBC Studios and Russian technology company Yandex have agreed to a major output deal for scripted content in Russia and the CIS.

The multi-year agreement will see Yandex’s online cinema and major movie database, KinoPoisk, exclusively host more than 100 hours of drama, comedy and children’s titles, per year, alongside additional content from UK producers in the BBC Studios catalogue from 2020.

The new partnership includes a commitment from Yandex to develop BBC Studios scripted formats and AVoD rights to more than 150 episodes of BBC Studios’ children’s brands.

KinoPoisk HD will become the exclusive VoD home for existing series of Doctor Who in Russia and the new 12th season of the show, which will be released in Russia the day after UK transmission on January 2, 2020.

Established in 1997, Yandex is one of Europe’s largest internet companies. It also operates market-leading on-demand transportation services, navigation products, an e-commerce platform and hardware multimedia devices in Russia. BBC Studios has been licensing content to KinoPoisk since early 2018.

Salim Mukaddam, senior VP for Central and Eastern Europe, Mediterranean and Africa at BBC Studios, said: “Russia is an established market for BBC Studios having licensed content here for many years. We know that the local audience has an affinity with, and a strong appetite for, British content.

“We took the time to find the right partner to enable us to achieve our ambitions in the territory. Yandex’s scale and reach, combined with their appreciation of the content, make them ideal partners.

“This is the first significant step in our strategy to serve that increasing demand and provides us with the opportunity to showcase British creativity and storytelling to new audiences. We are delighted to be entering the next phase of our relationship with Yandex. This is just the beginning, and I cannot wait to see what we can achieve together in the coming years.”

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