Tag Archives: BritBox

Int’l broadcasters take SA drama Reyka

Reyka stars Kim Engelbrecht

BritBox in North America, Channel 4 in the UK and HBO in Latin America are among the buyers to have acquired Reyka, Fremantle‘s first South African drama.

Commissioned by M-Net in South Africa, the contemporary crime thriller stars Kim Engelbrecht and Iain Glen and was coproduced with Harriet Gavshon of Quizzical and Serena Cullen of Serena Cullen Productions.

Following deals with RTL Group-owned Fremantle, the eight-part English-language drama series will be available in more than 80 territories with broadcasters including the CBC (Canada), SBS (Australia), TVNZ (New Zealand), RTL (Germany), Cosmote TV (Greece), Sky Italia and Canal+ (Poland and France).

HBO in Latin America will launch Reyka in numerous countries following a pan-regional deal struck by Sheila Aguirre, executive VP of content distribution and format sales for Latin America, the Caribbean and Hispanic US at Fremantle, which boarded Reyka in 2018.

Other outlets to have acquired the series include Marjan Television (MENA Farsi), OSN Streaming (MENA Region), Hot (Israel), RTL Klub (Hungary), Viasat (Russia, CIS, Georgia, Ukraine) and Now TV (Hong Kong, Macau).

The series follows a flawed but brilliant criminal profiler who, haunted by her past, investigates a string of brutal murders committed by a serial killer in the sugar cane fields of KwaZulu-Natal.  Having been abducted as a child by a farmer, she is traumatised by the experience but this also helps her enter the minds of Africa’s most notorious criminals and turn them inside out.

Julie Hodge, editorial director of global drama at Fremantle and executive producer of Reyka, said: “With compelling scripts, world-class performances and astonishing production values, it is not a surprise the series has performed excellently for M-Net, and I have no doubt that success will be emulated in the international market, cementing Fremantle as a key player in the English-language drama space.”

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BritBox lines up SA launch date

Ex-BBC director general Tony Hall and ITV CEO Carolyn McCall announce BritBox

BritBox, the joint-venture SVoD service from ITV and the BBC, will launch in South Africa on August 6 after reaching two million subscriptions outside of the UK.

BritBox’s debut in South Africa will mark its fifth territory, following launches in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

BritBox has experienced an 18% rise in subscriptions to two million in the US, Canada and Australia, while in the UK the platform now has around 555,000 subscriptions, marking a 10% increase on this time last year.

BritBox debuted in North America in March 2017 and announced it had surpassed 1.5 million subscribers in October 2020. It launched in the UK in November 2019, followed by Australia in November 2020.

Last year BritBox announced a global roll-out that would take the service into 25 new territories, bringing audiences a collection of UK shows and box sets, drama premieres and live events, as well as original commissions.

The subscription stats were released as part of ITV’s interim financial results today, with the broadcaster also revealing growth in subscriptions to its domestic SVoD service ITV Hub+, which offers its content on-demand without advertising. Subscriber numbers rose in the first half of 2021 to 452,000, a 10% increase on the first half of 2020.

Elsewhere in its results, ITV reported 26% growth in total group revenue year-on-year to £1.83bn (US$2.54bn) from £1.45bn, boosted by a 29% increase in advertising revenue to £866m from £671m and a 26% rise in revenue at production/distribution arm ITV Studios to £798m from £632m.

ITV said growth in its studios business was helped by the fact a “substantial majority” of programmes were back in production following delays caused by the pandemic. It also said it benefited from a number of programmes and licences being delivered earlier than expected. ITV Studios’ external revenue was up 31% at £523m.

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BritBox to launch in South Africa

BritBox, the joint-venture streaming service from BBC Studios and UK commercial broadcaster ITV, will launch in South Africa in the second half of 2021.

Paul Dempsey

The territory will be the ad-free SVoD service’s fifth worldwide, following launches in the US, Canada, UK and Australia.

Last year BritBox announced a global roll-out that would take the service into 25 new territories, bringing audiences a collection of UK shows and box sets, drama premieres and live events, as well as original commissions.

Both ITV and the BBC have an existing relationship with TV audiences in South Africa, where they used to operate linear channels ITV Choice and BBC First respectively. The launch of BritBox will enable consumers to retain access to UK content following the recent closure of both TV channels.

BritBox debuted in North America in March 2017 and announced it had surpassed 1.5 million subscribers in October 2020. It launched in the UK in November 2019, followed by Australia in November 2020.

Martin Goswami

BritBox operates as a 50/50 JV between BBC Studios, the commercial arm of the UK pubcaster, and ITV.

Martin Goswami, group strategic partnership and distribution director at ITV, said: “The launch of BritBox in South Africa is yet another step in the platform’s trajectory towards international expansion. We’re delighted to bring the service to a brand new territory and continue towards establishing BritBox as a premium VoD brand across the world.”

Paul Dempsey, president of global distribution at BBC Studios, said, “We know that South African audiences have a real connection to British television and we can’t wait to bring them even more great shows, on demand, that we know they will love.”

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