‘Queen’ scandal hits RDF

U.S. growth helps offset U.K. losses

U.K. shingle RDF Media has acknowledged that the fallout from the faked footage in its doc “A Year With the Queen” will hit its domestic production business but said those losses will be offset in part by its booming U.S. biz.

The combo reported a net loss of £443,000 ($886,000) for the six months ended July 31, compared with a $2.2 million net profit the previous year, on revenues up 38% to $103.2 million. But strong activity in the U.S., where revenues rose by 104% to $19 million, is helping to make up the shortfall.

“The recent suspension of commissioning imposed on RDF by the BBC and ITV lasted longer than we originally anticipated,” CEO David Frank said in a statement. “As a result, the group will not make up sufficient ground to fulfill expectations for this year within its U.K. production division.

“However, a strong performance in the U.S. will go some way to redress this and, in the medium term, the investments we are making in U.S. production, RDF Kids, Family Entertainment and RDF Digital will further diversify the group’s revenue streams.”

RDF’s chief creative officer Stephen Lambert resigned Oct. 5 following an inquiry into how the BBC, which commissioned the doc about the British monarch, showed the faked footage at a press launch for its BBC1 fall schedule.

Frank admitted it had been a “testing time” for the producer of “Wife Swap” and other hit entertainment formats.

Both ITV and the BBC imposed a commissioning ban on RDF following the incident.

ITV recently lifted its freeze and Frank said he was optimistic the BBC would soon follow suit.