Soccer drama helps U.K. indie deliver profits spurt
LONDON — Turnover at Shed Productions, one of the UK’s leading independent production companies, rose 98% to £11.9 million ($21.7 million) for the six months ending February 28. Gross profits were up 209% to £2.8 million ($5.1 million).Shed delivered three drama series during that period — the fourth series of “Footballers’ Wives,” new army drama “Bombshell” and new children’s drama “The Fugitives” — compared with one series in the same period last year. Prospects for the current period are also bright with ITV commissioning a fifth series of “Footballers’ Wives,” and the seventh series of “Bad Girls” now airing on the channel. Shed is now looking to forge relationships with the other U.K. broadcasters. Following legislation in 2003, shingles are now able to retain and exploit secondary rights to programs commissioned by the BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5. They had previously only been able to do so with programs sold to ITV. “We are well positioned to benefit from the recent changes in the independent production sector and have good relationships with all of the major broadcasters,” said CEO Eileen Gallagher. Shed’s flotation on the London stock exchange in March was heralded a success, with stock oversubscribed by a factor of seven. Another leading U.K. indie RDF Media, which makes “Faking It” and “Wife Swap,” floated in May, raising £29 million ($52.9 million).