Zoo Digital wins major BBC deal

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Zoo Digital, the firm that provides subtitling software for Hollywood blockbusters, has won a major contract with the BBC to provide a new subtitling and captioning system.

Sheffield-based Zoo said the new deal with BBC Worldwide, the wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of the BBC, will provide a pioneering new subtitling and captioning service for its global operations.

BBC Worldwide was set up to maximise profits on the BBC’s behalf by investing in, commercialising and showcasing content from the BBC around the world.

It recently announced strong international sales of acclaimed drama Wolf Hall, starring Damian Lewis as King Henry VIII and Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell.

The series, based on the novels by Hilary Mantel, has been sold in the US, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Australia.

Zoo’s system will be used to turn subtitles and captions into various English versions, such as British, American, Australian and New Zealand, and then into multi-language ones.

Zoo’s chief executive Stuart Green said that the various English speaking territories have different spelling and grammatical conventions, hence the need for territory-specific captions.

“This deal is important because working for an organisation like the BBC, which has so much content, is really challenging,” said Dr Green.

“They need to get all the current programmes and the back catalogue available.”

In a separate announcement Zoo said its annual results for the year to March 31 will be ahead of last year with the first half likely to be stronger than the second.