UK pay-TV broadcaster Sky has acquired London-based producer-distributor Parthenon Media Group and its companies Barbershop Studios and 422 South, as part of a deal which will see it launch a distribution arm to market the international rights to its content.
The move is part of the broadcaster’s plan to spend up to £600 million (US$925 million) per year on original content by 2014.
Parthenon founder and CEO Carl Hall (pictured above) will lead the new operation within Sky, and the rest of the Parthenon team will join him. He will report to Sophie Turner Laing, Sky’s MD of entertainment, news and broadcast operations. London-based audio post-production house Barbershop Studios and Bristol-based effects company 422 South will now be owned by Sky as well.
As part of the deal, BSkyB has acquired Parthenon’s 48% equity interest in Arcadia Entertainment, part of the Parthenon Group. The Halifax-based production company’s president John Wesley, who retains control of his indie, said of the news: “I’m as pleased as I can be with this new international partner and look forward to new production and distribution opportunities.”
“This is a great day for everyone associated with Parthenon,” said Hall. “I am honored to be leading the new distribution division within Sky. This will also open new and exciting opportunities for international producers looking to benefit from the support of one of the UK’s largest investors in original content and a global leader in the provision of world-class television.”
Sky’s Turner Laing added: “As we continue to increase investment in UK production, this is a natural step in the evolution of Sky’s content business. We are producing world class television – innovative, creatively ambitious and, in many cases, on an epic scale. It’s only right that we match this with world class aspirations for how we take this content to as wide an international audience as possible.”