China’s Bilibili Buys Stock of National Geographic Documentaries

Patrick Frater

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Buena Vista International has struck a content supply deal with Chinese streaming platform Bilibili. The agreement covers 85 titles, and nearly 400 hours, of National Geographic documentary series to Chinese audiences. Some 35 of them will be exclusive to Bilibili within China.

In late May, the documentary supply kicked off with “Cosmos: Possible Worlds,” the follow-up of National Geographic’s Emmy Award-winning documentary, “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.”

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Other titles covered by the deal include: “Superstructures: Engineering Marvels” which focuses on the International Space Station; “Origins: The Journey of Humankind,” which probes key moments in human history; an intimate perspective on war in “Inside World War II”; “Brain Games” (season 4) which explores cognitive science; and “World’s Weirdest Animals” (seasons 2 & 3), which showcases the strangest creatures in the animal kingdom.

“The offering of high-quality contents from National Geographic is driven by our users’ needs to understand the vast universe and shared curiosity,” said Carly Lee, vice chairwoman and COO of Bilibili in a prepared statement.

Documentaries have been an extremely popular category on Bilibili. In the first quarter of 2020, which coincided with the coronavirus lockdown, views of documentaries on Bilibili increased by nearly 100% compared to the same period last year. The number of documentary viewers on Bilibili exceeded 83 million.

National Geographic documentaries that have previously played on the platform include: wildlife documentary, “The Hidden Kingdoms of China”; “Jane Goodall: The Hope,” which premiered in April; and “Jane,” another documentary on conservationist Goodall.

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