Youku has reached a drama content deal with BBC Studios, which involves extended licensing for all four seasons of Sherlock and an agreement on over 80 hours of BBC Studios drama programmes.
The deal will provide Youku viewers with a number of popular UK TV programmes, including Good Omens, Sanditon, Luther, and – as the only Chinese video platform to do so – the entire Doctor Who series catalogue. The partnership also features the HD version of classic political comedies Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister which will make their premiere in China.
The dramas included in this partnership are expected to launch on Youku from February 2020 onwards.
“The content produced and distributed by BBC Studios has always been the unrivalled representative of British creativity. We are delighted to introduce these distinctive series to the Chinese market through our ongoing collaboration. Our ambition is to be the number one platform for British drama, and we are committed to delivering the freshest content to Chinese users,” said Xie Ying, general manager of Youku TV series centre.
This deal is a continuation of a decade-long partnership between BBC Studios and Youku, with the former supplying dramas, children’s shows, documentaries, and other content across a range of genres. The largest library of British drama content in China, it already offers users more than 350 hours of drama content from BBC Studios, including The Durrells, the remake of Les Misérables, and (with Youku having exclusive streaming rights in China to season five) Inside No.9.
“It is great to see our relationship with Youku going from strength to strength with this agreement to show more quality British contemporary and classic drama in China. We look forward to contributing to the prosperity of China’s developing television industry through collaboration with local players, while also helping them to explore overseas markets and to tell Chinese stories around the world,” said Phil Hardman, senior vice president of commercial operations and strategy, Asia of BBC Studios.