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Sky takes over “Benefits Street” indie Love Productions

UK pay-TV network Sky has acquired a 70% stake in Love Productions, the indie behind Benefits Street (pictured), The Great British Bake Off and The Great British Sewing Bee.
July 21, 2014

British pay-TV network Sky has acquired a 70% stake in Love Productions, the UK indie behind Benefits Street (pictured), The Great British Bake Off and The Great British Sewing Bee.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will see Love continuing to operate as a distinct company under its new ownership structure, maintaining its production bases in New York, LA, London and Bristol.

“This means it will carry on producing programs for all the major UK broadcasters, as well as creating new programs and formats for sale around the world,” Sky said in a statement.

The takeover comes on the eve of the prodco’s 10th anniversary. Richard McKerrow and Anna Beattie founded the indie – which has also produced unscripted titles such as Baby Borrowers, Famous Rich and Homeless, Make Bradford British and My Last Summer – in October 2004.

Sophie Turner Laing, Sky’s MD of content, said: “Love is one of the UK’s most innovative and creative independent producers with a track record of success across a range of genres, both in the UK and globally.

“Led by Richard and Anna, Love has a hugely talented team with exciting plans for the future.”

In a joint statement, Love’s co-founders and chief creative officers McKerrow and Beattie added: “We feel it’s the perfect time to be working with a group who can help us realize our creative and commercial potential and fulfill all of our international ambitions for the Love brand.

“Sky feels like a company of the future, full of dynamic and extremely creative leaders who will back our independent spirit and are keen to support all our future ambitions.”

Sky’s distribution arm, Sky Vision, will become Love Productions’ distribution partner, representing all new finished programs and formats globally.

The news comes after BBC Worldwide last week sold the format rights to Love’s The Great Sewing Bee to Denmark’s TV2 Fri, along with finished title The Great British Sewing Bee.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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