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BBCWW unveils new Brit brand

BBC Worldwide (BBCWW) has revealed its third international channel brand to join factual-skewing BBC Earth and drama-focused BBC First.

BBC Brit will target male audiences and offer factual entertainment content such as Top Gear to international viewers. BBCWW CEO Tim Davie, speaking at a Broadcasting Press Guild event, said BBC Brit would include business, adventure and food programming and could also offer newly commissioned shows.

He added that the channel, which could also include existing series and new formats of shows such as Room 101 or Mock the Week, would be piloted in as-yet undecided territories during 2014.

Davie said that BBC Brit would fill “a gap in the global market for a male-skewing fact-end destination” and capture the “maverick spirit of our factual entertainment programmes.”

BBCWW, the commercial arm of UK pubcaster the BBC, first revealed its new brands in October, which are being rolled out across linear and digital channels.

BBC Earth will carry premium factual content and is set to feature as a section on both the broadcaster’s UK website BBC.co.uk and its international online portal BBC.com, while BBC First will act as a home to first-run UK drama. The channel is due to launch on Australia’s Foxtel platform in August.

Meanwhile, BBCWW has inked a new first-look deal with recently formed indie Lonesome Pine, founded by former Lesley Douglas, the former CEO of All3Media’s Lime Pictures, and writers Aschlin Ditta and Bob Weide.

The agreement will see BBCWW provide investment in the prodco in return for global distribution rights, and is part of BBCWW CEO Tim Davie’s plans to avoid investing directly in production companies.

Davie also confirmed that BBCWW would operate BBC Store, which will allow UK-based audiences to buy, watch and keep content in digital form. The firm is also currently exploring the possibilities of a wider international roll-out of the service, with both projects subject to approval by the BBC Trust, which oversees the broadcaster’s operations.

Davie added that the firm is on course to meet its target of spending £200m on content during 2014/15, having made a “major investment” in an upcoming drama from RSJ productions for the UK’s BBC2 that follows criminals sent out to Australia.

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