×

ProSieben’s Red Arrow Buys Majority Stake in ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ Producer

Red Arrow Entertainment Group, the production-distribution unit of Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 Group, has acquired a majority stake in Half Yard Prods., the outfit behind such cable reality series as “Say Yes to the Dress,” “Diggers” and “Hillbilly Handfishin’.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but industry sources pegged the pricetag at more than $40 million. Red Arrow’s deal for Half Yard is the latest example of the European and U.S. media congloms scooping up small and medium-sized unscripted production entities in an effort to bolster content creation and the potential to sell hit formats around the world.

Half Yard founders Abby Greensfelder and Sean Gallagher will continue to run the Bethesda, Md.-based company as co-CEOs. The pair, former programming execs at Discovery Channel and TLC, respectively, founded Half Yard in 2006. At Red Arrow, Half Yard becomes part of a portfolio that includes Chris Coelen’s Kinetic Content, Fabrik Entertainment and Left/Right Prods.

Jan Frouman, group managing director at Red Arrow, founded the unit in 2010 with the goal of acquiring production assets in the U.S. and other key territories. Half Yard was attractive to them because of Greensfelder and Gallagher’s strong track record of development shows and their deep relationships in the unscripted arena. ProSieben’s deep pockets will afford them resources they would not have as an indie.

“We expect them to continue to operate Half Yard as they have been under the added advantageous umbrella of the group,” Frouman said.

“Our strategy on acquisitions has pretty much been unchanged since we started group. We want to be in territories around the world that people pay attention to, and we want to partner with people who want to do a deal with us for the right reasons.”

The Half Yard pair said they felt the “fit” was right with Frouman after being courted by other suitors over the past year.

“The minute we met Jan we know this was the guy we wanted to be in business with,” Gallagher said.

“It’s important when you’ve founded your own company and grown it that you find someone who gets your (company) culture,” Greensfelder added.

Greensfelder’s track record during her Discovery exec days included greenlighting signature hits “Deadliest Catch,” “Dirty Jobs,” “American Chopper” and “Mythbusters.” Gallagher was the exec behind “Miami Ink” and “Little People, Big World” during his time at TLC, and before that he worked for Discovery.

Because of their Discovery roots, Greensfelder noted that they understand the value of international reach, and what Red Arrow’s distribution infrastructure can mean for Half Yard.

“Up to this point we have not leveraged the value of the international business,” she said. “One of the attractions of having a global partner is the ability to launch formats internationally and share ideas.”

U.S. cable channels, however, are notoriously stingy when it comes to rights. Most shows are produced on a for-hire basis with the production entity retaining little if any stake in the show or control over its destiny. But that is changing as smaller companies gain more clout through association with larger entities.

Frouman cited Kinetic’s experience with ABC on the gameshow “The Taste.” After much back and forth with the network, Kinetic controls the rights to the format in international markets.

“We stepped up and did everything needed to do to make sure we owned it,” Frouman said.

Investment bank About Corporate Finance handled the sale for Half Yard.

More TV

  • Bristol, CT - March 13, 2017

    Mina Kimes Helps ESPN Kick Off 'Daily' Podcast

    Mina Kimes is preparing to take ESPN into a new frontier. The sports-media giant has launched a “SportsCenter” for Snapchat and tested baseball telecasts for kids. Now it’s hoping to set up shop in another media venue. Starting tomorrow, the Disney-backed company launches “ESPN Daily,” a weekday morning podcast that aims to tap its vast [...]

  • MIA Wrap

    Rome MIA Market Wraps With Stronger U.S. Presence, Boosts Italy's Industry Standing

    Rome’s MIA market for TV series, feature films and documentaries wrapped positively Sunday with organizers boasting a bump in attendance just as some 2,500 executives departed in an upbeat mood after four days of dealmaking and presentations of mostly European fresh product, which elevated Italy’s global standing in the industry, especially within the TV sector. [...]

  • NETFLIX ZERO SHOWRUNNER

    Showrunner Stefano Voltaggio on Netflix's 'Zero' About Black Youths in Italy (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix recently announced a new Italian original titled “Zero” that will mark the first Italian series centered around the present-day lives of black Italian youths. “Zero” is based on several books by young writer and TV music show host Antonio Dikele Distefano, who was born in Italy from Angolan parents. The project was originated by [...]

  • Content-is-King

    Top TV Execs Tackle New Distribution Landscape in Rome

    ROME – In an increasingly complex TV market, with a host of new big-ticket streaming services preparing to enter an already crowded arena, both buyers and sellers are rethinking some of the fundamentals of the TV business as they grapple with the best way to reach global audiences. A host of top producers, network executives, [...]

  • MIA-MARKET-2019_Europe-Producers-Club_4

    European Producers and Broadcasters Debate How to Weather Streaming Storm

    ROME – The impending rollout of Disney Plus, HBO Max, and other new streaming services promises a new era of uncertainty—and opportunity—for broadcasters and producers in an industry already disrupted by the likes of Netflix and Amazon. At a panel hosted by the European Producers Club Friday afternoon during the MIA market in Rome, executives [...]

  • Kevin-Beggs

    Lionsgate TV Chairman Kevin Beggs on Streamers and TV’s ‘Platinum Era’

    ROME – Over the course of two decades in the industry, Lionsgate Television chairman Kevin Beggs has witnessed the ups and downs of a business that has frequently found itself confronting both dizzying new possibilities as well as existential threats. But these days the veteran exec, who oversees the development of all scripted and non-scripted content [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content