Unscripted

Sky takes majority stake in Jupiter Entertainment

The UK pay-TV network has taken a 60% stake in U.S. prodco and Welcome to Myrtle Manor firm Jupiter Entertainment. (Pictured: Jupiter CEO Stephen Land)
March 30, 2015

UK pay-TV network Sky has taken a 60% stake in U.S. prodco and Welcome to Myrtle Manor firm Jupiter Entertainment.

Founded in 1996 by Stephen Land (pictured), Jupiter Entertainment’s portfolio includes such series as Wild West Alaska (Animal Planet), Snapped (Oxygen) and Homicide Hunter (ID). Most recently, the company formed a multi-year partnership with publisher Random House, giving it first-look privileges over the company’s assets for the development of unscripted TV and digital properties.

According to Sky, the deal will see the producer continue to operate as a distinct company under the new ownership structure, with Sky’s international distribution arm Sky Vision becoming Jupiter Entertainment’s distribution partner in order to represent upcoming finished programs and formats.

Meanwhile, the prodco’s existing agreements with other broadcasters and distributors will continue.

The acquisition - which further bolsters Sky’s strategy to grow an international content business across broadcasting, production and distribution – is the latest in a number of deals with international production outfits. In September, Sky took a minority stake in the LA- and London-based prodco Znak&Jones, and also acquired a 70% stake in UK indie Love Productions last July.

In addition, the company has development deals in place with Ugly Brother Studios, Spring Films, Back2Back Productions, Hungry Bear Media and Roughcut TV.

“Over the past two decades, Jupiter has built an impressive track record in popular factual television, and has become a major supplier to a variety of U.S. networks,” said Jane Millichip, MD of Sky Vision, in a statement.

“We look forward to working with Stephen, who is one of America’s most prolific television executives, and his talented team,” she added. “They have an exciting slate of returning series and new formats, and Jupiter will become an important partner for Sky Vision as we build our presence in the U.S. market.”

Stephen Land, Jupiter Entertainment CEO and executive producer, added: “Sky is an ideal strategic partner. Combining Jupiter’s strong domestic growth with Sky’s global reach creates thrilling possibilities. We have ambitious growth plans and believe our employees and network partners will all benefit from this exciting combination.”

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.

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