Former ViacomCBS International senior execs Claire McArdle and Rebecca Knight have partnered to launch a new production company, Collective Media Group, and will serve as co-CEOs.
The new privately backed company will work across a range of premium factual content, including high-end factual series as well as popular entertainment and podcasting, with a focus on telling stories around some of the most iconic moments in sports.
Collective will work with both on- and off-screen talent to develop, produce and distribute content across a range of genres and platforms. The company will work with sports rights holders like golf’s Legends Tour to bring their stories to global television screens, as well as developing and producing its own IP.
McArdle (pictured left) is an Emmy-winning executive who has delivered award-winning content across broadcast and digital platforms in a number of genres. Previously managing director and CCO of OTRO, she was VP of Comedy Central International Studios at ViacomCBS International. She’s also a former commissioning editor for education and 4iP at Channel 4, and executive producer at All3Media-owned Maverick Television.
Knight (pictured right) has broad experience in content production and live events, having delivered award-winning films and BAFTA-winning programming. As VP of international production and business affairs for MTV, Comedy Central and Paramount, Knight produced and negotiated across all programming genres. She has more than 20 years of experience working with talent on both sides of the camera, with a particular focus on nurturing new talent.
McArdle and Knight’s prior experience give them an understanding of key global territories and Collective Media Group already has a strong Latin American slate out to market.
The company is already providing the highlights shows for The Legends Tour, distributed in some 40 global markets, and has delivered two series of The Harry Redknapp Show podcast, in partnership with Global. Collective also has multiple series in development with international and sporting talent attached.
In addition to McArdle and Knight, Collective Media Group has begun assembling its team, including award-winning executive producer and showrunner Matt Wilkinson (I’m A Celebrity, The X Factor) in the role of creative director, entertainment and formats; veteran development executive Karen Willis as director of development; and former Big Brother and Made in Chelsea producer and executive producer Richard Smith as executive producer, development.
“There is a huge opportunity in today’s landscape for talent and access-driven content and we are fortunate to have access to some outstanding stories from across the world,” said McArdle in a release. “Whilst sport-related stories will be the beating heart of Collective Media Group, we recognise the huge potential in the wider marketplace. Our aim is to convert our deep talent and access relationships into meaningful and long-lasting IP that can be exploited across multiple platforms.”
Added Knight: “Each member of the team — from Claire and myself through to our producers — brings with them a unique set of talent relationships, organisational access and buyer contacts. It means we are already talking to all major players in the streaming and broadcast landscape and have a range of projects at development and contracting stages.”