Ahead of airing in the UK and U.S. last Sunday, the Season 4 finale of BBC One/Masterpiece sleuth drama Sherlock was leaked online in a Russian version. BBC Worldwide and Channel One Russia swiftly launched an investigation into the breach on the Benedict Cumberbatch/Martin Freemna-starrer and have now determined it was an isolated and unintentional security lapse on the part of a Channel One employee.
In a statement provided to Deadline, Channel One said:
“We regret to confirm that one of our employees non-maliciously broke our strict security protocols. As a result of this gross dereliction of duty, the file leaked online. We would like to reassure our partners and viewers, that as a result of this incident, we have completely revised our content security procedures to ensure that this does not happen again and we apologize to Hartswood Films, BBC Worldwide and Sherlock fans everywhere who have been impacted by this leak.”
The episode, “The Final Problem,” leaked online at the weekend and featured a continuity announcement linking it to Russia’s Channel One, which airs Sherlock locally. While the Sunday finale hit a series low in the UK overnights, it’s not clear if the leak bears any responsibility. The version that went out online was not subtitled in English. Similar to previous episodes this season, “The Final Problem” is expected to see a spike when the delayed-viewing figures are added in next week.
BBC Worldwide said today that it welcomes Channel One’s “reassurances that they will be tightening security procedures to eliminate any similar future risks and we will work closely with them to ensure this happens. We would like to thank the Sherlock fans who rallied together and helped us limit the episode’s leak last weekend. BBC Worldwide also appreciates Channel One’s efforts in concluding their investigation so expediently and we now consider the matter closed.”