So. What’s the BIG idea?
I want to set myself up as a TV production company, to create high-end TV and film for the global market. The reason for this is that, as the creator of original work, I can retain those lucrative rights (which are traditionally transferred to the production company which makes the show) and so I can keep the profits in-house.
I’ve tried taking TV ideas to Production Companies in the past, but they will not do a deal with me. Certainly not a 50/50, nor ever a 99/1 (in their favour), they want the lot. I do understand this, because firstly, it’s the production company that does that actual work and secondly they don’t want the ‘creative’ hanging about and making a deal messy.
What ideas have you got?
I’ve got oodles of good ideas for both TV and feature films.
How will you achieve this?
I have solid contacts in the industry: I can get all my shows made at Itasca Films’ studios (http://itascafilms.com). Their CEO (Malcolm Walker) has given me free range to use their studio in Hampshire, including an outdoor broadcasting unit (which I have a use for).
I’m also friends with Grammy and Emmy-winning producer Kipper Eldridge (http://kippermusic.co.uk/works), who is a long-time collaborator with Sting and through him I have access to Abbey Rd (https://www.abbeyroad.com) recording studio or indeed any performing artist or music venue in the world.
How will you distribute the shows?
Through Moviehouse Entertainment Ltd (www.moviehouseent.com), whose directors have been in the film distribution business for over 25 years. Having previously worked for The Samuel Goldwyn Company and Warner Bros., they can ensure a seamless flow of revenue in terms of licensing, delivery and collections.
Until 15 yours ago there were just five channels, but today (if you have satellite TV) then there are hundreds. Freeview gives you access to over 70 channels alone. Now the big tech companies are setting up new video channels, as FaceBook (which has 2bn active users) YouTube, Amazon and Netflix and of course ‘content’ is king, as they all offer a 24/7 service. Problem being: once they have shown a programme, then they must find something new and exciting to replace it.
Who is your legal eagle?
The lawyer who acts for me is Jonathan Hadley-Piggin at Keystone Law
What sets this business apart from the competition?
Me and the amazing talent that gravitates around me.
How will it all work in practice?
- Set up ClingFilm as a TV production company (to retain the rights).
- Take the idea to a broadcaster (ITV, BBC, C4, London Live, FaceBook etc.) to get it commissioned.
- Get Itasca to make the shows.
- Get Moviehouse Entertainment Ltd to sell the franchise around the world.
- Repeat the above.
Why are TV production companies so wealthy?
The successful ones are those who own the rights to popular TV shows and then sell them on. Which is why people like Jasper Carrott (who invested in a 15% stake in Celador, when they first set up) is now worth £millions.
Why should anybody invest?
- I have oodles of innovative, commercial and entertaining ideas.
- I have access to a highly qualified group of people from the media industry.
- I want to establish myself as an ideas man who makes successful television.
- I have an even bigger idea, one that I’d like to carry my investors along with and which is more exciting than watching six balls jump up and down in a cage and infinitely more rewarding.
There are currently 500 independent production companies making TV in the UK today, half of which are now owned by foreign corporations (NBC, Warner Brothers, Universal). The market generated £2.9 billion in revenues in 2014.
Broadcasting giant ITV rewarded shareholders after a blockbuster year by giving away £400 million to shareholders, as revenues jumped fifteen per cent to £3 billion.
How much money do you need before you can take this project live?
I’m currently working with ‘Hilton Sharp & Clarke’ (www.hsc.uk.net) to come up with some numbers.
If you would like to have a conversation about any of the above, then please feel free to contact me at: Geoffrey@PlanetReed.London
The $64,000 Question
Why are TV production companies so wealthy? The answer is because they own the rights to their own TV shows, which are unbelievably lucrative – especially when the format is sold to countries like America, where game shows are practically all they watch.
Sale of the Century
Which explains why... companies like Celador, who own the worldwide rights to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, sold the idea to American (ABC) for over £100m. This sounds like a lot of money, but it’s not when you consider that ABC syndicate the show all over North America was raking in £420 million from each ad break.
Modern TV shows are designed to appeal to the broadest possible audiences. If the format works in Britain, then it will work anywhere in the world. Shows are sold on, in the following order of profitability: North America, Australasia, Northern Europe, Latin America, Asia and finally Eastern Europe.
Deal or No Deal
It has been an impressive year for UK television exports, with sales to international markets in 2015/16 of £1,326m. The USA remains our largest market (£497m), followed by Australia (£106m) and France (£73m). With an increase in Subscription Video on Demand platforms such as Netflix and Amazon, there is further opportunity for growth in this area.
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
• Celador (who own the rights to the show) is valued at £300m.
• The rights have been sold to 106 countries.
• The sale of the worldwide rights to WWTBAM? were sold for £106m.
• The format was sold for £100m.
• £70m is earned from TV ads.
• Format has been sold to 41 countries.
- CBS paid Endemol £14m for the rights.
- The company was sold for £3.8bn.
- Channel 4 make £45m a series from advertising.
I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
- The high-tech set cost £7m (it’s television).
- 450 people live and work on the jungle set.
- It costs £12m to make the 3-week series.
Double Your Money (and get jolly rich)
To conclude: I have a slate of innovative TV formats and access to the right people in the industry to make all this happen. . . for those in the know, small screen is big business.
© Geoffrey Reed
15th August 2017