The US-based media investment firm Narrative Capital has acquired the Sony Pictures Television’s portfolio of premiere FTA broadcast television channels and their digital assets in the UK for an undisclosed fee.
The portfolio – Sony Movies, Sony Movies Action, Sony Movies Classic, Sony Channel, POP, Tiny POP and POP Max – make up the largest FTA network of movie and commercial network of kids channels in the UK. Together, they offer over 6,400 hours of content on Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media and Freesat.
Commenting on the deal, Narrative CEO Daniel Levin said: “Narrative’s range of activity all along the life cycle of content makes this a terrific match. Sony Pictures Television’s UK FTA broadcasting business has long stood out to us as a hub for creator, brand and technology interaction, which is something we look for. What an exciting opportunity to rebrand with a dynamic, confident voice that welcomes new viewers to celebrate the ease, spontaneity and connection of broadcast television. We’re thrilled to welcome these channels and the staff into the Narrative family”.
The deal was led on the ground in the UK by Remy Minute. Minute was the founder and CEO of CSC Media Group (CSC) in 2006 which he grew to be the largest FTA portfolio of TV channels in the U.K. Minute will be stepping in as CEO to help transition the business out of Sony and set it up for independent success.
Minute said: “These quality channels from Sony Pictures Television together with the agile group of media experts who run them is that rare platform opportunity from which to grow both across existing businesses and new digital extensions. I am delighted to partner with Narrative and look forward to our work in the U.K. and the US to fully realise the opportunity”.
Levin added: “Remy is a visionary. We could not be prouder to partner with him”.
Narrative will evolve brand and merchandising partnerships around kids deals and explore opportunities for the movies and entertainment portfolio, while also building on existing digital assets across the portfolio to increase reach and capture audiences on a variety of devices. There has been an increased digital presence with the rollout of the POP Player AVOD TV and mobile app, web destinations and YouTube channels.
Levin continued: “Sony Pictures Television has done a wonderful job cultivating the channels and the acquisition is a welcome extension of our audience-first, connection-driven philosophy. We embrace the opportunity to broaden the reach of the iconic POP brand with new platforms and original content”.