BBC Canada, link up

A new partnership between the media cos will see new and archived short-form BBC content on starting Dec. 30. is about to get a wee bit British.

The portal announced late yesterday that it has brokered a deal with BBC Worldwide Canada to include new and archived short-form content from the Canadian arm of the British broadcaster on its various channels.

Starting Dec. 30, will run hundreds of web-specific clips from hit BBC programs such as car-fiend shows Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson’s Motorworld, Clarkson’s Car Years and Jeremy Clarkson’s Extreme Machines, all four of which will be included on Sympatico’s Auto channel. Cooking content, including clips from In Search of Perfection, Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escape, Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook and Hairy Bikers Ride Again, Indian Food Made Easy, Ken Hom’s Chinese Cookery and Ainsley’s Gourmet Express will be featured on the Lifestyle channel. The deal also includes a women 25-to-54-targeted lineup of travel, comedy and pet-related programming.

The goal in integrating BBC content into Sympatico’s channels was to enhance the text and interactive content already in place on the site, Veronica Holmes, senior director strategy and content,, tells MiC.

‘We believe that the video programming really complements the text and interactive programming that we already have on the portal,’ she explains. ‘We’re not looking to recreate a TV experience online – we want to add functionality and programming that really engages users.’

It’s the first deal of its kind to be signed by BBC Worldwide with a Canadian-based portal. Sympatico will promote the BBC content on its own properties for the time being and plans to launch a more widespread promotional effort in the first quarter of 2010, Holmes says. Advertising and sponsorship opportunities will be available respective to the channels the new content is appearing on.