London, UK (June 21, 2005)–In a deal struck with BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, Universal Music has exclusively licensed the rights to exploit content relating to its portfolio of artists from the corporation’s extensive archive of TV and radio content. In addition, Universal will work with BBC Worldwide to identify archive material which could create new broadcast programming opportunities in the UK and overseas.
The archive covers the entire history of rock and pop, as well as including hundreds of hours of classical music.
Universal and BBC Worldwide are identifying program material relating to artists in the Universal stable–including U2, Elton John, The Who, Cream, Van Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Sting, Bee Gees, The Police, ABBA, and The Cure–which can be used to create a wide range of product for global release.
Under the terms of the licence, BBC archive material of Universal artists could be used to produce, in conjunction with the artists, a wide range of commercial products, including albums, DVDs and downloads. The first music to be used from the BBC archive under the new deal is the 27 tracks included on Universal’s Top 10 Cream retrospective, I Feel Free – Ultimate Cream.
The deal is unique in its potential to deliver both commercial value and public service benefit to the BBC. Material from both the BBC and Universal’s archives becomes available, creating a pool of distinctive audiovisual content that the BBC can draw upon to create new music-related programming for broadcast in the UK, and for BBC Worldwide to exploit internationally.
The deal is the first of its kind between BBC Worldwide and a key music industry partner, and is part of the company’s strategy to work with the music industry in deriving greater value from the wealth of music-related material in the corporation’s archive.
Universal Music Group