Publicly-owned broadcaster and DTG member, Channel 4 television has taken minority stakes in four TV production companies for the first time in the channel's 32 year history.
The cost is reported to come close to £4m to take stakes, none more than 25%, in Lightbox, a company founded by Simon Chinn, academy award winning producer behind 'Searching for Sugar Man' and 'Man on Wire,' Arrow Media, specialists in factual programming including 'Dogs: Their secret lives' and 'Jumbo: the Plane that changed the world' as well as Popkorn, producer of 'Football behind bars' and 'Living with my stalker' and production company True north, who make 'The Valleys' for MTV and 'Animal SOS' for the BBC.
Taking a stake in each of these production companies is big leap for Channel 4 who have said there is no strings attached to the deals in terms of 'first look' deals on shows or distribution and there will be no preferential treatment from Channel 4's commissioning teams.
Chief Executive of Channel 4, David Abraham said "This is a significant moment for Channel 4. [...] This is just the start and we will be announcing more deals over the course of the next year."
Channel 4 added that as a not-for-profit, state owned enterprise with a public service remit, commercial returns from the companies will be used for purposes including boosting the £429m spent annually on homegrown shows. Channel 4 spends about £600m in total annually on original commissions and acquired programming.
DTG Staff | 21.08.2014