ABC and Canada’s CBC announce creative and commercial collaboration

Hannah Gadsby.

The ABC and Canadian public broadcaster CBC have agreed to co-develop and co-produce drama, comedy, non-scripted and children’s programming.

The deal encompasses two new proposed TV projects for two to six-year-olds and eight to 14-year-olds, and the ABC’s acquisitions of CBC Kids’ original commission Big Blue and CBC co-productions Kiri and Lou and the upcoming Sinking Ship sci-fi series Endlings.

The MOU signed at the Banff World Media Festival builds on the 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 version of the latter format launches on the CBC Gem streaming service in June.

The three-year MOU will also provide further opportunities for co-financing and format sales of drama and children’s content.

ABC MD David Anderson said in a statement: “In a world of global media giants, the outstanding and accessible content produced by like-minded public broadcasters is more important than ever.

“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.”

CBC/Radio Canada president/CEO Catherine Tait said: “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.

“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.”

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.