Executive Vice President, Content Production, Sales and Distribution, BBC Worldwide North America
As Executive Vice President, Content Production, Sales and Distribution, Matt Forde heads up the company’s integrated content team in the U.S. and Canada. His team develops and produces formats and original shows for the company’s studio brands, BBC Worldwide Productions and Adjacent Productions; secures co-productions with UK partners; and oversees program sales/distribution across linear and digital partners. Forde reports directly to Ann Sarnoff, President, BBC Worldwide North America.
Under Forde’s direction as studio head, BBC Worldwide Productions just wrapped its 23rd season of the ratings darling Dancing with the Stars for ABC. The same team also produces the U.S. version of Top Gear for HISTORY and the upcoming Hypnotize Me – a reformat of ITV’s You’re Back in the Room – for FOX. In scripted, they produced the Golden Globe® nominated The Night Of – based on BBC ONE’s Criminal Justice – for HBO starring John Turturro and Riz Ahmed. Unscripted originals, under Adjacent Productions, include Ladies of London for BRAVO and Life Below Zero and Port Protection, both for Nat Geo.
In co-productions and program sales, Forde’s team has initiated massive growth and success in securing U.S. co-production partners for critically-acclaimed and award-winning shows, including Sherlock (PBS), Top of the Lake and The Honorable Woman (SundanceTV), and in 2015 Forde brought together the creative teams from the BBC and PBS for a three-year co-production deal that will result in up to 10 non-scripted specials per year, such as Big Blue Live and Raising the Giant Dinosaur.
Forde’s program sales team has been at the forefront of the digital revolution. They were responsible for one of the first, if not the first-ever, U.S. direct-to-digital deal for a UK show with Misfits premiering on Hulu in 2011. Since then the business has had substantial growth with key titles including The Wrong Mans and The Thick of It S4 – both co-productions with Hulu – as well as Rev and Moone Boy going direct to digital partners such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
Forde first took responsibility for the TV sales and co-production division for U.S. and Canada in 2009 and has been part of the BBC Worldwide family since 1998 with a wealth of experience in sales, investment and distribution. Prior to joining the North America team, Forde was Director of Investment working out of the UK, where he defined the strategy and commercial viability of all BBC Worldwide’s investments in BBC programming, ensuring the best commercial deals for the business. Before that, he was Head of Commercial Development, Independents, working with key UK drama and comedy independent production houses to secure international television, DVD and new media rights for BBC Worldwide.
Forde is a graduate of Britain’s Manchester University. He is married with two kids, and splits his time between New York and Los Angeles.