has announced the opening of its Indian production office. The office, headed by Saul Nassť, will be responsible for bringing the BBC's production expertise to the Indian market, working with local talent to produce and deliver world class television.
The Indian office, which will trade as BBC Worldwide Productions India, is BBC Worldwide's third local production base. It will complement BBC Worldwide's hugely successful Los Angeles production studio, which currently works with all the major US networks and is responsible for producing the record-breaking 'Dancing with the Stars' on ABC, and its production company in Australia, a joint venture with Freehand.
BBC Worldwide has enjoyed a strong distribution business in India for many years as well as close relationships with all the networks. Standout local production successes include 'Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa', based on 'Dancing with the Stars', which has just started its second season on SET Max.
Making the announcement at MIPCOM in Cannes, Wayne Garvie, managing director, content and production, BBC Worldwide, says, "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."
Nassť recently led the BBC's highly successful India and Pakistan 2007 season, having previously been editor of 'Tomorrow's World' and acting head of religion and ethics at the BBC. Working alongside Nassť will be Sonia Chowdhry, creative director, development and special projects, BBC Worldwide Productions India. 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 was also head of programming for Nickelodeon in India. Chowdhry will drive the future business of the company, working with the development teams in London and pitching to local broadcasters.