BBC Studios and Yandex have agreed to a major output deal for scripted content in Russia and the CIS.
It will see Yandex’s online cinema and major movie database, KinoPoisk, exclusively host over 100 hours of brand new premium drama, comedy, and children’s titles, per year, alongside additional content from a range of British producers in the BBC Studios catalogue from 2020.The new partnership includes a commitment from Yandex to develop BBC Studios scripted formats and AVOD rights to over 150 episodes of BBC Studios’ children’s brands.
KinoPoisk HD will become the exclusive VOD home for existing series of Doctor Who in Russia, and the new 12th season of the show, which will be released in Russia the day after UK transmission on January 2, 2020.
Commenting on the agreement, Salim Mukaddam, senior VP for Central and Eastern Europe, Mediterranean and Africa, BBC Studios said: “Russia is an established market for BBC Studios having licensed content here for many years. We know that the local audience has an affinity with, and a strong appetite for, British content. We took the time to find the right partner to enable us to achieve our ambitions in the territory. Yandex’s scale and reach, combined with their appreciation of the content, make them ideal partners. This is the first significant step in our strategy to serve that increasing demand and provides us with the opportunity to showcase British creativity and storytelling to new audiences. We are delighted to be entering the next phase of our relationship with Yandex. This is just the beginning, and I cannot wait to see what we can achieve together in the coming years.”
Olga Filpuk, chief content officer for KinoPoisk, added: “KinoPoisk has been an integral part of the Yandex Media eco-system for many years. Its subscription arm – KinoPoisk HD – has been growing alongside our Yandex Plus subscription service (included in KinoPoisk HD subscription), which now counts 2 million subscribers. Part of our content strategy for both KinoPoisk and Yandex Plus subscribers is to constantly expand our high quality foreign content proposition. By doing this, we can help viewers stay up to date with the most exciting global premieres online. Thanks to our relationship with BBC Studios, we have already become the VOD home to Doctor Who in Russia. With a new BBC Studios deal in place, we expect to deliver more content with a global appeal to the Russian viewers in years to come. We also look forward to exploring scripted content creation opportunities with the BBC creative team in the near future”.
Sally de St Croix, Doctor Who global franchise director, said: “We know that Russia already has a hugely engaged and dedicated following for Doctor Who so we are really excited to work with Yandex to bring our incredibly rich world of stories and characters, packed with adventure and hope, to KinoPoisk HD for them to enjoy. With seasons 1-12 available on the service, there has also never been a better time for new viewers to delve into our stories from across all of time and space”.