China’s Youku, BBC Studios expand partnership for UK drama

UK broadcaster BBC Studios has announced a drama content deal with Chinese streaming platform Youku that extends the licensing of all four seasons of Sherlock and adds another 80 hours of shows. 

The deal includes Good Omens, Sanditon, the latest series of Doctor Who and Luther series 1-3. In addition, Youku will be the only Chinese streaming service to carry the entire catalogue of Doctor Who series. 

The HD versions of classic comedies Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister are also included in the deal and will be making their debut in the China market. 

Alibaba-owned Youku has the largest library of UK drama among Chinese streaming platforms, with shows such as Sherlock and ITV’s Downton Abbey becoming hugely popular among Chinese netizens. BBC Studios has partnered with the streamer for more than a decade, supplying dramas, children’s shows, documentaries and content across other genres. 

Other BBC show already streaming on Youku include Inside No.9, The Durrells and the remake of Les Misérables, among others. 

“The content produced and distributed by BBC Studios has always been the unrivalled representative of British creativity. Our ambition is to be the number one platform for British drama, and we are committed to delivering the freshest content to Chinese users,” said Xie Ying, general manager of Youku TV Series Centre.