BBC establishes Indian production office


MUMBAI: BBC Worldwide has opened its Indian production office. The office, headed by Saul Nassé, will be responsible for bringing the production expertise of the BBC to the Indian market, working with local talent throughout India to produce television content.


The Indian office, which will trade as BBC Worldwide Productions India, is the company’s third local production base. It will complement BBC Worldwide’s Los Angeles production studio – which currently works with all the major US networks and is responsible for producing Dancing with the Stars on ABC – and its production company in Australia, a joint venture with Freehand.


Making the announcement at MIPCOM in Cannes, BBC Worldwide managing director content and production Wayne Garvie said, “India is one of the most important and successful territories for BBC Worldwide. This local production office underlines our commitment to Indian broadcasters and audiences and firmly positions BBC Worldwide as a leading global content network. Under Saul’s leadership, I’m confident that the office will quickly become a key player in India‘s growing television industry.”


BBC Worldwide Productions India general manager and creative head Saul Nassé added, “I’ve spent the past year in India, setting up the office and meeting representatives from all the many broadcasters with whom BBC Worldwide works. Two indisputable facts: local productions are by far the most popular programming in India and BBC Worldwide has one of the world’s richest catalogues of television content and formats. Taken together, therefore, the Indian production base offers genuine synergy. I’m delighted that the office is now open for business.”


BBC Worldwide has had distribution business in India for many years. Its local production work includes Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa (Dancing With the Stars), which has just started its second series on Sony and The Weakest Link, Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister.


Nassé recently led the BBC’s India and Pakistan ’07 season, having previously been Editor of Tomorrow’s World and Acting Head of Religion and Ethics at the BBC.


Working alongside Nassé will be, BBC Worldwide Productions India creative director, development and special projects Sonia Chowdhry. Chowdhry launched the award-winning Haath Se Haath Milaa (Let’s Join Hands) programme for the BBC World Service HIV/Aids campaign in India. She will be driving the future business of the company, working with the development teams in London and pitching to local broadcasters.