BSkyB has made another significant investment in UK content with the acquisition of a 70 per cent stake in Love Productions, one of the UK’s leading independent production companies. The investment forms part of Sky’s strategy to grow a broad, international content business spanning broadcasting, production and distribution.
Love Productions is a UK-based independent production company. Founded in October 2004 by Richard McKerrow and Anna Beattie, Love Productions specialises in thought-provoking, entertaining television for the UK and international markets. It has production bases in London, Bristol, New York and Los Angeles.
Love Productions produces award-winning original programmes across a range of genres. This includes hit formats such as Great British Bake-off and Great British Sewing Bee and agenda-setting documentaries such as Baby Borrowers, Famous Rich and Homeless, Benefits Street, Make Bradford British and My Last Summer.
Love Productions will continue to operate as a distinct company under its new ownership structure. This means it will carry on producing programmes for all the major UK broadcasters, as well as creating new programmes and formats for sale around the world. McKerrow and Beattie will continue to run the company with the current senior management team.
Sky’s international distribution business, Sky Vision, will become Love Productions’ distribution partner, representing all new finished programmes and formats and leveraging its relationships with leading networks and producers across the world. Love Productions’ current agreements with other broadcasters and distributors will remain unchanged.
Sky works with leading global content businesses in a range of different ways to drive growth in international content distribution and develop more high-quality programmes for its UK and Ireland customers. Sky Vision deals extensively with independent producers, sourcing programming for distribution, largely from the UK and US. It has development deals with a number of production companies including Ugly Brother Studios in the US; and in the UK with back2back productions and Roughcut TV. The investment in Love Productions is part of this strategy to grow a broad, international content business.
Sophie Turner Laing, Managing Director, Content, Sky , described the acquisition as “a significant step” for its growing international content business. “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. We are really looking forward to supporting them as they build on their relationships with different broadcasters throughout the industry and helping them to grow the business,” she stated.
McKerrow and Beattie, Joint Chief Creative Officers, Love Productions, said they were “extremely excited” by the prospect of a partnership with Sky. “We feel it’s the perfect time to be working with a group who can help us realise our creative and commercial potential and fulfil all of our international ambitions for the Love brand. Love has always sought to be a pioneering company, launching new ideas and breaking new ground. 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,” they added.