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BBC Worldwide ties up with Pearson Education for new entity

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MUMBAI: BBC Worldwide Ltd and education company Pearson Education have formed a partnership to publish BBC-branded educational products and services under a new imprint called BBC Active.

The partnership will be co-owned by Pearson Education and BBC Worldwide, with BBC Worldwide holding a minority stake, and will sit alongside Pearson's existing educational publishing businesses. BBC Worldwide will transfer its academic, consumer and English Language Teaching learning businesses to the new partnership, which will provide learning resources for both children and adults at school, college, university and at home in the UK under the BBC Active imprint.

Key existing products and services include:

    Foreign language publishing, including Talk, French Experience and Quickstart.

    Revision guide and study aid publishing, including Bitesize, ReviseWise, and Ten Minute Top Ups.

    Adult personal development, parenting and business books, including Little Angels.

    Educational publishing resources to support BBC television and radio programming for schools and Higher and Further Education. Major brands include Barnaby Bear and Magic Grandad (for the primary school market).

The partnership will be granted a first option to license relevant learning market rights in all new BBC properties to which BBC Worldwide has the relevant rights. The new partnership will work within BBC editorial and commercial policy guidelines to ensure that appropriate controls are maintained over BBC intellectual property.

The partnership combines BBC Worldwide's strengths in intellectual property management and media-based publishing with Pearson Education's heritage and publishing expertise, global sales and distribution capability, enabling the strategic expansion of BBC brands across the international learning market.

Pearson Education's president of higher education, schools and professional Rod Bristow said, "Pearson Education and BBC Worldwide are natural partners in educational publishing. The BBC's intellectual property, expertise with the moving image and its future programming output present us with a wonderful opportunity in a world where teachers are looking for innovative and interactive ways of delivering education. With our publishing expertise and scale, this is a powerful combination. We are looking forward to growing this business together."

BBC Worldwide's MD for home entertainment and learning Chris Weller said, "We are excited about this new partnership. The combination of our skills and intellectual property with Pearson Education's publishing strengths and distribution scale will enable the business to develop and grow in the UK as well as internationally."

This is the second business venture between a Pearson company and BBC Worldwide. On 30 April 2004, the Penguin Group and BBC Worldwide formed a new venture into which BBC Worldwide transferred its Children's Books business, BBC Children's Books, which comprises some of the world's leading character properties, including Teletubbies, Tweenies, Fimbles and Bob the Builder. The venture allows them to be brought alongside Penguin's existing children's publishing portfolio, which includes Spot, Peter Rabbit, Ladybird books and Puffin.

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