ITV buys game show specialist

Broadcaster pays $52 mil for 12 Yard

ITV’s ambitions to beef up production revenues have received a boost with the acquisition of local gameshow specialist 12 Yard, set up six years ago by the team behind “The Weakest Link.”

The terrestrial web has forked out an initial £26 million ($52 million) and will pay up to $18 million more if profit targets are met over three years. Gameshow maker is one of Blighty’s leading format creators. “Dog Eat Dog” and “Friends Like These” are among the indie’s other hits, as is Intl. Emmy winner “Without Prejudice?”

The shingle’s shows have sold strongly overseas, making an impact in the U.S., Oz, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Spain.

As part of the deal, ITV’s inhouse distributor Granada Intl. will sell 12 Yard fare in all territories.

ITV announced this fall that it intends to boost production revenues partly by acquiring indies in potentially high-margin areas, such as format production, and also by making more of its own shows.

Dawn Airey, managing director of ITV global content, said, “I look forward to making further announcements in due course.” Airey, who arrived at ITV in October, has a $400 million war chest to spend on acquisitions.

Earlier in the year, ITV, via Granada Intl., bought a 25% stake in drama producer Mammoth Screen, having previously taken a controlling share in new U.S. joint venture Jaffe/Braunstein Entertainment.

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