01 IMG Productions
(William Morris Endeavour)
md, production worldwide Graham Fry svp global director of engineering and technology David Shield turnover £161.5m hrs 6,020.5 key shows Barclays Premier League, Snooker (BBC), Channel Four Racing (C4), Live @ Wimbledon
Sports producer IMG tops the Production 100 for the third year in a row on the back of a turnover of £161.5m – down from £170m last year.
IMG’s credits include a huge array of sports, from C4 horse racing, BBC snooker, the Wimbledon world feed to the European Tour Golf and the Indian Premier League.
But IMG’s biggest contract is to produce the Barclays Premier League for overseas rights holders. IMG takes in all the host coverage of the League from Sky, the BBC and BT. It then customises each match, adding commentary, graphics and highlights. International broadcasters can take individual matches or IMG’s content service, which is in effect a 24/7 Premier League channel that includes live news, talk shows, highlights and archive games.
The UK production arm is part of talent representation and sports marketing giant IMG Worldwide, which represents clients such as Taylor Swift, Gisele Bundchen and Novak Djokovic. IMG Worldwide was sold in 2013 by its private equity owner Forstmann Little for $2.3bn to US talent agency giant William Morris Endeavor, which looks after stars such as Oprah Winfrey and Christian Bale. IMG has spent much of the past year integrating into WME.
Formerly known as TWI, IMG’s TV sports arm has existed since the 1960s. It has produced over 6,000 hours of sport and entertainment over the past year – much of it from its new, purpose built studio facility in Stockley Park. The facility houses four studios, 13 production galleries, 72 edit suites as well as four sound dubbing suites.
IMG says business has been “reasonably strong” in the past year, particularly in the international market. But, he adds, it’s been tough in the UK, pointing to pressure on production fees, few live sport commission opportunities, consolidation of the OB resources market and downward pressure on funding and difficulties in transacting business across geographical boundaries. 29% of its revenues come from UK broadcasters, with 20% from international broadcasters and another 45% from international rights income.
02 Avalon Television
mds Jon Thoday, Richard Allen-Turner director of production Joanna Beresford ceo, Avalon Television Factual Jamie Isaacs turnover £87.1m key shows Russell Howard’s Good News (BBC2), Not Going Out (BBC1), Catastrophe (C4), Man Down (C4) Workaholics (Comedy Central), Last Week Tonight (HBO)
Avalon TV is a core part of the Avalon Entertainment empire, which was founded back in 1989 and also encompasses talent management, live shows, PR and distribution. Avalon’s talent arm represents key entertainment names, including Russell Howard, David Baddiel, Chris Addison, Lee Mack, John Oliver, Al Murray and Frank Skinner.
Avalon Television makes many of its stars’ shows, while its distribution arm sells them around the world.
TV highlights this year have included C4 hit Catastrophe, starring Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, which was recommissioned for a second series, and a ninth series of Russell Howard’s Good News.
Like many of its indie peers, Avalon has broken into the lucrative US market, producing two series of the John Oliver-fronted satirical show Last Week Tonight for HBO and series five of Workaholics for Comedy Central.
Long running series underpin the success of Avalon - and the company says it has seen an increase in volume over the year.
Avalon reports that turnover is £87.1m, a marked increase from £66.3m last year. Avalon TV works alongside other Avalon Entertainment-owned production companies Liberty Bell, Flame, and Topical Television (see separate entries), which produce across the documentary, factual, daytime and kids genres.
Avalon boss Jon Thoday led a spirited campaign this year with Jimmy Mulville of Hat Trick in an ultimately unsucessful bid to persuade the BBC to reverse its decision to close BBC3.
md Richard Holloway head of ent Suzy Lamb dir of prod Dean Jones head of dev Lucas Green turnover £85.1m hrs 161.5 key shows The X Factor (ITV), Take Me Out (ITV), Britain’s Got Talent (ITV), All Star Family Fortunes Entertainment juggernaut Thames is the largest label in the Fremantle stable, producing many of ITV’s biggest hits – including The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent which it makes with Simon Cowell’s Syco. Run by veteran entertainment producer Richard Holloway, Thames produces 162 hours of entertainment shows. Turnover fell slighly from £86.6m to £85.1m.
04 Tiger Aspect
(Endemol Shine Group)
md Sophie Clarke-Jervoise turnover £66.2m hrs 92 key shows Bad Education (BBC3), My Mad Fat Diary (E4), Peaky Blinders (BBC2), Benidorm (ITV), Mount Pleasant (Sky Living), Fortitude (Sky1), Mr Bean (CITV)
Tiger Aspect has had a bumper year, with revenues leaping from £54m to £66.2m. Diversified and with a foothold in nearly every genre, its growth has come from high-end drama as well as comedy drama production. Md Sophie Clarke-Jervoise adds: “The year ahead is looking positive,” citing series recommissions, new orders plus a strong development slate.
mds Kate Little, Claire Poyser turnover £60.6m
hrs 197 key shows Hollyoaks (C4), The Only Way Is Essex (ITV2), Geordie Shore (MTV), Rocket Island, Evermoor (Disney) Liverpool-based Lime is All3Media’s biggest indie, producing 130 hours of long running Hollyoaks and blazing a trail in scripted reality with 52 hours of TOWIE and Geordie Shore. It’s now building an impressive kids business, and recently won a major 20 part series commission for live action show Evermore from Disney. Turnover has dipped from £65.6m to £60.6m.
(Twofour Group/ITV Studios)
ceo Melanie Leach chief creative officer Andrew Mackenzie group dir of programmes Dan Adamson turnover £57m hrs 168.5 key shows Educating the East End (C4), The Jump (C4), The Vote (More4)
Twofour is now part of ITV Studios, after the broadcaster group acquired The Jump and Educating the East End producer in June. The deal was the culmination of years of growth which has seen the Plymouth-based indie expand to become a high profile factual, entertainment and kids producer. Turnover dipped slightly to £57m from £58.2m last year.
chairman Jeff Foulser md John Leach commercial dir Andrew Piller turnover £55.9m hrs 2592 key shows Premier League Football (BT), Premiership Rugby Union (BT), Test Cricket Highlights (C5), 2014 Commonwealth Games Sports producer Sunset+Vine proved its credentials last year as host broadcaster for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. It also produces BT’s football and rugby coverage, as well as cricket highlights for C5. The business outlook is good says md John Leach, pointing out that expertise in the production of major sports events is difficult to replicate.
08 Left Bank
(Sony Pictures TV)
ceo Andy Harries md Marigo Kehoe turnover £55.3m hrs 22 key shows DCI Banks (ITV), Outlander (Starz)
Drama producer Left Bank rises again this year, up from 11th to 8th, with turnover up to £55.3m. Orders from international broadcasters are driving growth, says md Marigo Kehoe. Left Bank secured a £100m commission for The Crown from Netflix, the streaming giant’s first original show from the UK. Left Bank also produced Outlander for Starz in the US and Amazon in the UK.
09 Neal Street
company directors Pippa Harris, Sam Mendes, Caro Newling, Nicolas Brown
turnover £53.3m hrs 19 key shows Call The Midwife (BBC1), Penny Dreadful (Showtime/Sky) Neal Street has bounded up the Production 100 rankings this year, with turnover up from £17.8m to £53.3m. Launched in 2003, Neal Street has enjoyed success with two high profile drama series: Call the Midwife and Penny Dreadful. It capped a strong year with its sale in March to All3Media. Neal Street had put itself up for sale with a price tag of £40m.
10 Studio Lambert
ceo Stephen Lambert creative director Tim Harcourt head of production Jo Crawley turnover £49.5m hrs 116 key shows Undercover Boss (C4), Gogglebox (C4), Girlfriends (ITV2), Four in a Bed (C4)
Now seven years old, Studio Lambert has consolidated its place in the top rank of the Production 100. Stephen Lambert’s outfit has made strong headway in the United States with commissions like Undercover Boss for CBS, and now earns 62% of its revenues from TV production for international broadcasters. It is now pushing into scripted, hiring Susan Hogg as head of drama.