BBC Worldwide, Anton Launch £150M Drama Investment Partnership

Nick Wall

Looking to create new opportunities in high-end scripted content, BBC Worldwide is teaming with European film and TV financing and co-production group Anton to launch The Drama Investment Partnership. A pool of funding secured for investment in premium British drama titles with international appeal, it expects to greenlight a slate worth at least £150M ($188M) over an initial three-year period.

The Drama Investment Partnership aims to increase the pace and flow of ambitious projects from British production companies by having readily accessible capital in place at the point of commission. The partners say its speed and simplicity will provide “a differentiation in the highly competitive market for premium scripted series.”

BBC Worldwide will identify projects for development and investment, and will take on global marketing and distribution of titles financed by the new entity.

In what’s become a burgeoning financing trend in Britain, The Drama Investment Partnership follows in the footsteps of BBC Worldwide’s recent hook-up with Access Entertainment and Lookout Point to create straight-to-series commissioning vehicle Benchmark Television, as well as the separate launch of Atrium TV, a commissioning club set up by Howard Stringer, DRG and MTG.

BBC WW CEO Tim Davie says, “We are actively bringing new funding opportunities to the market, consistent with our history of pioneering financing and partnership deals. We are delighted to welcome Anton as our partner for The Drama Investment Partnership, and are confident that the new funds will unlock greater opportunities for content makers and commissioners to ensure the very best of British drama continues to be made for audiences across the world.”

Along with The Drama Investment Partnership and Benchmark Television, BBC WW has amped up its equity investments into independent drama producers. Over the past several months it has taken stakes in Michael Jackson and Alex Graham’s Two Cities, Tim Hincks and Peter Fincham’s Expectation, and increased its share of Lookout Point.

Anton was founded by Sébastien Raybaud and invests alongside a wide network of distributors and producers throughout the world. It has co-produced or co-financed over 200 titles to date and is now distributing directly in Africa and Asia.

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