BBC Worldwide opens local production office in India


CANNES: UK pubcaster the BBC‘s commercial arm BBC Worldwide has announced the opening of its Indian production office.

The office, headed up by Saul Nassé, will be responsible for bringing the production expertise of the BBC to the Indian market and working with local talent in India to produce and deliver world class television.

The Indian office, which will trade as BBC Worldwide Productions India, is BBC Worldwide‘s third local production base. It will complement BBC Worldwide‘s hugely successful Los Angeles production studio - which currently works with all the major US networks and is responsible for producing the record-breaking Dancing with the Stars on ABC - and its production company in Australia, a joint venture with Freehand.

Making the announcement at the ongoing television trade event Mipcom in Cannes, France BBC Worldwide MD content and production Wayne Garvie said, "India is one of the most important and successful territories for BBC Worldwide. This local production office underlines our commitment to Indian broadcasters and audiences and firmly positions BBC Worldwide as a leading global content network. Under Saul‘s leadership, I‘m confident that the office will quickly become a key player in India‘s growing television industry."

Nassé added, "I have spent the past year in India, setting up the office and meeting representatives from all the many broadcasters with whom BBC Worldwide works. Two indisputable facts: local productions are by far the most popular programming in India and BBC Worldwide has one of the world‘s richest catalogues of television content and formats. Taken together, therefore, the Indian production base offers genuine synergy. I‘m delighted that the office is now open for business."

BBC Worldwide has enjoyed a strong distribution business in India for many years as well as close relationships with all the networks. Standout local production successes include Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa Dancing with the Stars, which has just started its second series on Sony. Other shows that have been done are The Weakest Link, Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister.

Nassé recently led the BBC‘s India & Pakistan ‘07 season, having previously been Editor of Tomorrow‘s World and Acting Head of Religion and Ethics at the BBC. Working alongside Nassé will be Sonia Chowdhry, Creative Director, Development and Special Projects, BBC Worldwide Productions India. Chowdhry launched the award-winning Haath Se Haath Milaa (Let‘s Join Hands) programme for the BBC World Service HIV/Aids campaign in India and was Head of Programming for Nickelodeon in India. She will be driving the future business of the company, working with the development teams in London and pitching to local broadcasters.

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