British pay-TV network Sky has acquired a minority stake in the Los Angeles- and London-based prodco Znak&Jones, and is set to distribute the group’s programming through its distribution arm Sky Vision.
The prodco – led by former Zodiak USA CEO Natalka Znak (pictured, right) and ex-Talpa Media USA CEO Simon Jones (left) - develops original programming, and sells and adapts international formats for the U.S. and UK markets.
Financial terms for the acquisition were not disclosed. However, under the deal, Znak&Jones will continue to operate as a distinct company producing for channels in both markets.
The group recently secured a deal to develop the classic game show Name That Tune for ITV, and is also developing projects for U.S. nets AMC and CMT, Sky said.
The partnership is the latest effort by Sky to grow its international content business. In July, the company acquired a 70% stake in UK indie Love Productions, with Sky Vision becoming the international distribution partner for all new shows and formats from the production company.
Last month, Sky Vision signed first-look deals with UK indies Acme Films and Spark Media Partners, which came on the heels of development deals earlier this year with Ugly Brother Studios, and UK-based indie Back2Back Productions.
“This deal is one of the ways we are building a strong international content business,” said Jane Millichip, MD of Sky Vision, in a statement. “Znak&Jones is an exciting new business with great potential. Natalka and Simon are among the best in the business with a fantastic pedigree of creating primetime hits with global appeal.”
Jones added: “The partnership is ideal in that we remain an independent, boutique operation able to best serve our respective broadcaster client needs and, at the same time, have a highly motivated international partner with a global distribution infrastructure necessary to drive a hit show.”