Distributor ups international business

LONDON — U.K. independent production outfit DCD Media is ramping up its international distribution business, with the launch of a £10 million ($18 million) investment fund.

The publicly listed shingle is also rebranding its distribution arm NBDtv as DCD Rights, to reflect its recent expansion into drama, entertainment and factual programming.

DCD plans to invest the new coin in both in-house and third-party productions. Through DCD Rights it will offer producers an advance of around 30%-50% of projected net sales.

With growing budget deficits on high-end drama and factual programming, distributors are increasingly having to offer producers gap financing. Earlier this year, ITV Worldwide announced that it was tripling its investment in third-party programming.

DCD Rights CEO Nicky Davies Williams commented: “This expansion further strengthens our presence internationally and will deliver substantial benefits both to our third-party clients and our six wholly-owned production companies.”

DCD acquired music specialist NBDtv in 2005 for £1.66 million ($3 million). Since then it has considerably expanded its output, with the acquisitions last year of “Bridezillas” producer September Films, and factual producers West Park Pictures and Prospect Pictures.

In addition to the fund, the company has also set up new division DCD Publishing, to handle book publishing, merchandizing, licensing and U.K. DVD rights. Initial releases will include the DVD of West Park Pictures’ BBC1 series “Stephen Fry in America.”

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