At the Banff World Media Festival, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) this week announced a creative and commercial collaboration.
The two national public broadcasters have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to co-develop English-language drama, comedy, factual, children’s and podcast content to maximize the value of their public funding for audiences. The three-year MOU will also provide further opportunities for co-financing and format sales of drama and children’s content.
“At a time when public broadcasters are competing with the best content in the world, partnerships like this will ensure we can nurture and develop more distinct storytelling and co-finance ambitious projects with greater global reach,” said Catherine Tait, President & CEO, CBC/Radio-Canada. “This agreement will offer new opportunities for producers in Canada and Australia, and bring our top creators, talent and stories to broader audiences at home and around the world.”
“In a world of global media giants, the outstanding and accessible content produced by like-minded public broadcasters is more important than ever,” said David Anderson, Managing Director, ABC. “This collaboration between the ABC and CBC will drive our limited resources further, leveraging our strengths to create and share distinctive local content that connects with audiences at home and overseas.”
The MOU will enhance cooperation and collaboration between the ABC and CBC through initiatives such as:
• Children’s content: Co-development of children’s programs across television, audio and digital services, including two new proposed TV projects for 2 to 6-year-olds and 8 to 14-year-olds, and ABC’s acquisition of CBC Kids’ original commission Big Blue as well as CBC co-productions Kiri and Lou and the upcoming Sinking Ship sci-fi epic Endlings.
• Drama, comedy and factual content: Collaboration on comedy, drama and factual programs through co-development, finance or acquisitions that promote the core values of the public broadcasters.
• Educational content: Co-development of a media literacy initiative to equip schools and educators across both countries with the analytical skills and tools to combat misinformation and disinformation.
• Audio content: Expansion of radio program exchanges between ABC RN and CBC Radio, plus the sharing of creative ideas and expertise between ABC Audio Studios and CBC Podcasts to create new podcasts.
• News content: Sharing of technology and tools to improve tracking and verification of the accuracy of news content.
• Local and regional communities: Collaboration on initiatives to better serve local and rural communities, including local journalism projects.
• Employee exchange: To ensure the success of such initiatives, the ABC and CBC will facilitate employee exchanges where appropriate and feasible.
The MOU will build on an existing relationship that includes CBC’s acquisition of the broadcast rights to ABC programs Ronny Chieng: International Student, Mustangs FC, Hannah Gadsby’s Nakedy Nudes, Hannah Gadsby’s Oz and the format rights to the ABC’s original series You Can’t Ask That. CBC’s Canadian version of the award-winning format launches on the CBC Gem streaming service in June.
The broadcasters also have a strong history of sharing audio content such as CBC Podcasts Alone: A Love Story and Someone Knows Something and ABC podcasts Trace and Ladies, We Need To Talk, plus ABC RN programs All in the Mind and Off Track and CBC Radio’s Ideas and Out In The Open.