Advanced Television

Sony pays $350m for Industrial Media

March 4, 2022

Sony Pictures Television (SPT), a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), is set to acquire Industrial Media, the independent non-fiction production company responsible for talent show American Idol, for $350 million (€320m).

SPT has also announced the formation of a new Game Show production division to be led by longtime SPT executive, Suzanne Prete.

Industrial Media’s portfolio of producers includes 19 Entertainment, B17 Entertainment, House of NonFiction, Sharp Entertainment, The Intellectual Property Corporation (IPC), This Machine Filmworks, This Radicle Act, and Trilogy Films. Industrial Media companies produce over 100 programmes for audiences worldwide. Titles include the hit 90 Day Fiancé franchise for TLC, Indian Matchmaking for Netflix, the GLAAD Media Award winning We’re Here for HBO, The Curse of Von Dutch and The D’Amelio Show for Hulu, Secrets of Playboy for A&E, Selena+Chef and Craftopia for HBO Max, So You Think You Can Dance for FOX, and the afoermentioned American Idol for ABC (which 19 Entertainment co-produces).

SPT says acquisition will add significant size and scale, as well as expand its capabilities to SPT’s non-fiction operation. Collectively, the Industrial Media group has approximately 100 employees in Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta, producing multi-platform programming across a variety of genres, including the documentary, music competition and reality categories.

Upon closing, Sony Pictures will acquire a majority controlling interest in Industrial Media. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Industrial Media CEO and founder & CEO of IPC, Eli Holzman, will join SPT as President of Nonfiction Entertainment upon closing, reporting to Ravi Ahuja, Chairman of Global Television Studios and SPE Corporate Development. Holzman’s longtime producing partner, Industrial Media President and Co-Founder & President of IPC, Aaron Saidman, will join the company as Co-President, Nonfiction Entertainment, reporting to Holzman. In these roles, Holzman and Saidman will oversee day-to-day operations of SPT Nonfiction.

Ahuja said: “At SPT our focus is on leadership and quality in growing areas of television, and nonfiction content makes up a significant share of TV viewing. Acquiring Industrial Media gives us scale and expertise that nicely complements our current TV production businesses. Eli, Aaron and their talented group of producers have consistently succeeded with high-quality series and documentaries. We can’t wait to get to work with them.”

In a joint statement, Holzman and Saidman said: “This is the most exciting time in the nonfiction business with more opportunity and more content being made than at any other period in the history of the genre. At Industrial, we have assembled some of our industry’s most sought-after storytellers. And now we have partnered with a leading independent supplier to the global film and television marketplace. Our ambition in working with Tony, Ravi and the Sony Pictures Television team is to supercharge our growth, amplify our ability to attract the very best talent both in front of and behind the camera, and to continue pushing the boundaries of the medium.”


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