22 October 2020

22 October 2020: Leading international broadcaster, Viasat World, today announces it has secured the rights to a raft of premium drama content from global content distribution partner, ITV Studios. The deal comprises over 150 hours of some of the most successful new and returning period drama series, and will fuel the programming pipeline into 2021, for Epic Drama, Viasat World’s premium drama channel and SVOD brand in Central and Eastern Europe.

The agreement with ITV Studios builds on a relationship which first began when Epic Drama launched almost three years ago. Viasat World acquired the rights to hit series such as Harlots and Endeavour and made Epic Drama the home of these popular drama franchises in CEE. This latest deal expands on that partnership and success, bolstering Epic Drama’s impressive inventory of premium period drama series.

The new slate of content includes:

  • The Singapore Grip (Mammoth Screen: World on Fire, Poldark, Endeavour): Epic Drama will carry the exclusive CEE premiere of this high-quality sweeping drama, featuring an acclaimed cast and centred on a wealthy British family living in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion of WWII.
  • Murdoch Mysteries S10-13 (Shaftesbury): With crime one of the most successful genres on Epic Drama, new-to-the-channel series of Murdoch Mysteries will build on that popularity. Part of Epic Drama’s schedule since launch, Viasat World has licensed all 13 seasons of the award-winning mystery series featuring Detective William Murdoch solving Toronto's trickiest cases. ​​
  • Agatha Christie’s Marple S1-3 (ITV Studios for ITV): Also joining the schedule is a new addition to Epic Drama’s ever-popular crime and mystery slots – the well-known British television franchise based on the Miss Marple murder mystery novels by Agatha Christie.

The new content deal also includes re-licenses of award-winning detective series, Endeavour (Mammoth Screen) and racy and powerful drama from Monumental Pictures, Harlots. And with all of the series of Endeavour and Harlots now available as a box set for the audience, Epic Drama will remain home to these well-loved established franchises.

“This package of content secures some fantastic titles which will feature in Epic Drama’s schedule in 2021” comments Karin Heijink, VP Channels and Products at Viasat World. “The channel goes from strength to strength - it’s currently the number four channel in the target audience in Poland, based on ATS, with viewers watching it for 76 minutes per day on average. This success is rooted in top quality series which find a place in the hearts and minds of our loyal audience. We’re delighted to extend our partnership with ITV Studios, and with this deal, we ensure that Epic Drama retains its position as the destination for the very best in premium period drama programming across the CEE region.”

Greg Johnson, Executive Vice President, Distribution, EMEA & Americas at ITV Studios adds: “Epic Drama has enjoyed great success since its 2017 launch and has a built a discerning audience in the CEE region which expects no less than the very best period drama series. We’re very pleased to contribute to its strong programme line up with these titles, which we’re sure will continue to captivate viewers.”

All Pay-TV, Catch-up and SVOD rights have been acquired for new titles, including The Singapore Grip and Agatha Christie’s Marple, in all Epic Drama territories in CEE. TX for the newly licenced titles is planned for Q1 2021 onwards.

The deal was brokered on behalf of ITV Studios by Nicola Andrews, Sales Director, CEE.

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