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ACQUISITION/REBRANDING

Banijay‘s planned acquisition of Sony Productions Film und Fernseh Produktions GmbH Germany (Sony Pictures Television Germany) from Sony Pictures is now complete. Following customary closing conditions, Banijay Germany has secured 100% stake in the company. The label, founded in 1995, will now operate as Noisy Pictures GmbH, with Astrid Quentell and Mirek Nitsch remaining in leadership positions.

Sony Pictures Television Germany’s successful shows include “Die Höhle der Löwen,” which has been on Vox since 2014; drama-comedy “Der Lehrer,” which has played nine seasons on RTL and won numerous awards; and ZDF crime series “Heldt.”

Founded in 2018 by Marcus Wolter and Banijay, Banijay Germany now has more than 1,200 employees. Leading titles include “Tatort Dresden, Schlag den Star” (“Beat the Star”), “TV Total,” “Wer wird Millionär?” (“Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”), “Kitchen Impossible,” “The Masked Singer” and “Promi Big Brother” (“Celebrity Big Brother”).

Wolter said: “Sony Pictures in Germany is known for high-quality scripted titles, a strong catalogue, and successful unscripted productions like ‘Die Höhle der Löwen.’ On this foundation, we have every faith that the Noisy Pictures team will be another hit-maker in the Banijay Germany family.”

Astrid Quentell, MD of Noisy Pictures, added: “We are thrilled to be part of Banijay. Looking to the future, we want to maintain the strength of our independent label, with continuity in our productions on the one hand, and fresh impulses derived from creative exchanges across the new family on the other.”

Emma Raducanu

TENNIS

Amazon Prime Video and the LTA, the U.K.’s governing body for tennis, have launched Prime Video LTA Youth Girls, a multi-year program to train coaches across the country to deliver lessons and guidance specifically designed for girls. Emma Raducanu‘s historic victory at the U.S. Open last year was the catalyst for the program. The initiative fulfils Prime Video’s promise to reinvest the funds from sharing the broadcast of the 2021 U.S. Open final with Channel 4, into British women’s tennis.

Raducanu said: “I’m extremely pleased to see the funds generated from the U.S. Open final go towards this new program, which is a step in the right direction to bring more young girls into the sport and will continue to support a bright future for women’s tennis in this country. As an ambassador of LTA Youth, it’s great to see a complimentary program take shape and hopefully bring some more success.”

DOC COMPANY ACQUISITION

Germany’s Leonine Studios has struck a deal to acquire prominent docs production outfit Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion, maker of Netflix’s first German original docu-series “A Perfect Crime.”

Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion — which has offices in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne – will stay independent following the deal, with co-chiefs Christian and Reinhardt Beetz continuing to lead the company. Leonine Studios CEO Fred Kogel, who oversees non-fiction production and acquisitions licensing, is joining the management team.

Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion’s standout titles comprise the 2013 Oscar-nominated doc “Open Heart,”  about story of eight Rwandan children who leave their families behind and embark on a life-or-death journey to receive high-risk open-heart surgery and “The Cleaners,” about social media censors struggling to save the web, that launched from Sundance in 2018.