BBC Studios has taken full ownership of factual indie Voltage TV, buying out the minority stake in Voltage that the C4 Growth Fund has had since 2015.
The BBC’s main commercial arm has a long-standing relationship with Voltage TV, founded in 2013 by Sanjay Singhal and Steve Nam. The indie has produced a number of high-impact and returning factual series for all the main UK broadcasters including Inside the Factory for BBC Two, DNA Journey for ITV and The British Tribe Next Door for Channel 4 and is in production with streamers including Netflix and Amazon Prime.
The deal, which is the first of its kind to go straight to 100%, “signifies renewed investment in unscripted indies” by BBC Studios which will complement BBC Studios Productions’ factual and factual entertainment production brands such as The Natural History Unit, Events Production, Factual Entertainment Productions, The Documentary Unit and The Science Unit.
On announcing the deal, Ralph Lee, CEO of BBC Studios Productions said: “We’ve admired Voltage for a long time, which is why when the opportunity arose we moved quickly to acquire the business outright. The breadth and quality of their slate is a perfect complement to BBC Studios Productions factual entertainment and factual brands. We’re delighted to be backing them and look forward to working even more closely with Sanjay, Steve and the team to grow the business.”
Voltage TV founder, Sanjay Singhal, said: “I started at the BBC as a trainee exactly 30 years ago. Then, it was producing programmes that were world-beating – and it still is. I’m delighted that Voltage has found a home in an organisation that champions risk-taking and shares the huge creative ambition we have in the coming years.”
Co-founder Steve Nam, added: “When BBC Studios approached us it just felt a natural fit, and I’m a firm believer in gut instinct. Our distribution relationship with BBC Studios dates back to the launch of Voltage and we look forward to continuing to flourish through their impressive global reach.”
Over the past few years, Voltage TV has delivered a wide range of documentary and factual series: Ant and Dec’s DNA Journey(ITV1), The British Tribe Next Door (Channel 4) and The Great Plague (Five) were all the highest-rated factual launch of the year on each network. Its longest running series is Inside the Factory for BBC Two which is now in its eighth series.
Recently, Voltage have won commissions with global broadcasters and streamers: It is currently in production with the premium documentary series, The Fake Sheikh, for Amazon Prime and with Tempting Fortune, a major new six-part reality format it is making for the UK’s Channel 4 and Roku in the US. Other new titles include the eight-part series for BBC ONE: Amanda And Alan: The Italian Job. In addition, Voltage TV is involved in its first scripted project with a feature film in development with Lighthouse Film and TV about Prince Andrew’s infamous Newsnight interview, based on former Newsnight producer Sam McAlister’s Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s most Shocking Interviews.
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