Viewers in the Middle East will be able to watch the BBC’s landmark nature programme Planet Earth for the first time on regional television, following a string of new deals.
BBC Worldwide said on Tuesday it had signed several agreements with broadcasters across the Mediterranean and Middle East to allow its catalogue of renowned Natural History and Factual content to be shown on regional TV.
In total, 290 hours of BBC content will be shown across the region under the agreements, which include one with UAE-based MBC Group’s digital service Shahid, through which blue chip series Planet Earth II which will exclusively premiered along with titles such as Mission Galapaos and The Hunt.
Other examples of content sales in the region include a deal with Doha-based Al Jazeera, which will air programmes including Life in the Air.
Planet Earth II has recently been acquired by Iranian channel Manoto, which has picked up the Wild strand including Alaska, Japan, Patagonia and Thailand.
The recent sales deals complement a growing foundation of BBC Natural History content across the region, where BBC Earth is broadcast in Turkey on Dsmart and Turk Telekom as well in Cyprus on MTN and Cablenet.
Meanwhile, the BBC Earth brand is gearing up for the launch of Orbi in Dubai – an interactive indoor nature experience to be unveiled at the City Centre Mirdif shopping mall.
Developed in collaboration with computer game giant SEGA Holdings, Orbi features BBC Earth’s world-leading nature content with SEGA technology to create an immersive, multi-sensory entertainment experience, BBC Worldwide said.
Natasha Hussain, general manager and vice-president, Middle East and Mediterranean, at BBC Worldwide, said: “We’re seeing increasing demand for BBC Earth’s content across [the region].
“We’re extremely proud of our reputation as global leaders in Natural History programming and it’s the best illustration of how the BBC is a premium content provider, revered the world over.
“We’re now looking towards the future launch of additional BBC Earth-branded services in the region, building on the highly successful launch in Turkey last year. Orbi complements this and provides everyone with an impressive level of engagement with the BBC’s premium Natural History content.”