Prime Lands Planet Earth II?

Planet Earth II, which already is for sale on Blu-ray in the UK, is likely to premiere on Prime in the new year.

The channel isn’t commenting on whether it has licensed the filmed in 4K series but TVNZ and TV3 have confirmed they won’t be screening it.

So that would leave Prime as the only major player with enough wherewithal to pay the premium that BBC Worldwide will have wanted for a series of this nature.

More than 12 million Britons tuned in to the belated sequel to 2006’s Planet Earth when it went to air last month on BBC One.

The delay in screening it here seems extraordinary given the worldwide interest in the series, with numerous clips popping up on websites and the risk of illegal streaming.

The Nine network in Australia also appears in no hurry to air Planet Earth II.

TV Tonight reported this exchange between Nine CEO Hugh Marks and ABC’s Virginia Trioli last month at a screen industry conference:

“How long are you going to make us wait for Planet Earth II? Because I know friends who are already illegally streaming it from the UK because you guys are making us wait,” she asked.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” Marks admitted, “and that’s an honest answer. It won’t be on air before next year, I can tell you that much.”

“That gets us to a problematic area, though doesn’t it?” Trioli continued.

“I mean, fair enough, the BBC has the right to sell the rights and they want to maximise that and I’m sure they’ve optioned a very, very lucrative deal for themselves with you and it wouldn’t be cheap.

“And you’re going to sit on it. But Australian audiences who have access to VPNs and the like are not going to want to wait.”

“But you have to remember 85% of viewing is still live linear television,” Marks responded.

“So yes there will be some people at the margin … and we all know those people because we’re in the business.

“But the great bulk of the population are still watching live linear television. So we might lose some people.

“But if the show is good, when it plays, it will play well.”

Prime appears to be banking on the same strategy, holding back the series to maximise its new-season scheduling strategy.

In the meantime, owners of 4K TVs and UHD players shouldn’t be in a rush to import Planet Earth II on Blu-ray.

The BBC has confirmed the series will be the first it releases on 4K/UHD Blu-ray in the new year.

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2 Responses to “Prime Lands Planet Earth II?”

  1. It should be on Netflix, I notice they have got quite a few nature shows on there 🙂

  2. Sure, if Netflix wants to pay up for the local (or global) rights then I’m sure that the BBC would love to see another bidder for its content. Hard to see it wanting to buy orphan rights in some geographies when it can’t get North American rights (Britbox) or UK rights (BBC) – that kills its two largest markets. But doesnt Netflix see more value in creating/acquiring its “original content”?

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