The deal, for four major original drama series over the next two years, marks the first time that Liberty Global has agreed to a multi-territorial deal with a production company to create exclusive programming for its customers. The shows will be made available on demand for customers of Liberty Global companies across Europe, Latin America and the Carribean. Liberty Global owns 50% of All3Media, having jointly acquired the business with Discovery Communications in 2014.
The deal has been spearheaded within Liberty Global by Virgin Media. Bruce Mann, managing director of programming at Liberty Global and David Bouchier, Virgin Media’s Chief Digital Entertainment Officer, will lead the commissioning process.
The dramas will be produced by All3Media production companies with the level of funding required to deliver the best scripts, cast and directing and production talent to produce high quality international drama series. The exclusive content will be made available to millions of Liberty Global customers including Virgin Media customers in the UK & Ireland, Unitymedia customers in Germany, Ziggo customers in the Netherlands, and customers of Cable & Wireless, VTR and Liberty Puerto Rico.
Bruce Mann, Managing Director of Programming at Liberty Global, comments: “This initiative combines Liberty Global’s operating scale with its ownership in the production powerhouse All3Media. Our aspirations for the partnership are high as we seek to deliver top-quality exclusive content to millions of Liberty Global customers across Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. All3Media has assembled a world-class stable of creative talent and we can’t wait for delivery.”
Jane Turton, Chief Executive of All3Media, adds: “This is a great opportunity with Liberty Global and Virgin Media to develop new dramas that are designed to appeal to a global audience, to be watched on multiple platforms and to become long running returning series. For us, this initiative fits squarely with our core strategy – to grow our scripted output, creating world class dramas that return series after series. To be able to do that with Liberty Global and Virgin Media as partners is exciting.”
David Bouchier, Chief Digital Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media, adds: “Earlier in the year I said that this would be a big year for TV at Virgin Media and I wasn’t kidding. Through leveraging Liberty Global’s financial muscle and its investment in world-leading production talent, we’re not only innovating but we’ve taken the exciting leap into commissioning all-important original premium drama, which we know our customers will love.”
(Pictured above is a scene from Call the Midwife, on the home page it’s Gogglebox)