U.K. broadcaster takes 25% stake
Blighty’s biggest private terrestrial web, ITV, has taken another stake in a shingle as it beefs up its global content arm.It has taken a 25% holding, worth £1.1 million ($1.6 million), in U.K. indie Carbon Media, which specializes in factual shows. Distrib ITV Global Entertainment will license Carbon’s shows to third-party broadcasters. ITV Global Content topper Lee Bartlett said, “This deal fits our strategy for the future, which is all about investing in the type of specialist talent that will help us to expand our content production into new areas.” ITV will also bankroll a $220,000 development fund at Carbon, which recently hired Steven D. Wright, previously head of entertainment at Shine, as joint creative director. Set up in 2004 by Mike Christie and Mike Smith, Carbon Media has built its reputation on high-end docus and specials, including the forthcoming “The Big Arts Project” made for Channel 4 in the U.K. In the past year or so, ITV has acquired, among other investments, a stake in U.K. startup shingle Crackit Media and forked out a reported $50 million for British gameshow specialist Twelve Yard.