British Sky Broadcasting has acquired a controlling 60% stake in US-based independent production company; Jupiter Entertainment.
With a track record of creating successful, returning popular factual series and formats, the investment in Jupiter forms part of Sky’s strategy to grow a broad, international content business spanning broadcasting, production and distribution.
Founded in 1996 by Stephen Land, Jupiter Entertainment produces popular non-scripted programmes — including documentaries, reality series, true crime and lifestyle series — for networks such as A&E, Discovery, History, Investigation Discovery, Oxygen, TLC and Animal Planet among others. Its extensive portfolio of successful series includes Welcome to Myrtle Manor (TLC, pictured), Wild West Alaska (Animal Planet), Snapped (Oxygen) and Homicide Hunter (ID).
The company recently formed a multi-year strategic partnership with Random House giving Jupiter a “first look” at adapting the publisher’s assets as non-fiction television and digital properties. All Jupiter Entertainment productions share similar characteristics of great storytelling, compelling characters and high production values. The company has corporate offices in Knoxville, Tennessee and New York City with a Los Angeles post-production satellite.
Jupiter Entertainment will continue to operate as a distinct company under the new ownership structure, producing programmes for a variety of broadcasters. Sky’s international distribution business, Sky Vision, will become Jupiter Entertainment’s distribution partner, representing new finished programmes and formats. Jupiter Entertainment’s existing agreements with other broadcasters and distributors will remain unchanged.
Sky has stakes in independent production companies; Love Productions in the UK and LA-based Znak & Jones, both of which partner with Sky Vision on international strategy. Sky Vision deals extensively with independent producers in the UK and US. It has development deals with a number of production companies; including Ugly Brother Studios in the US; and Spring Films, back2back productions, Hungry Bear Media and Roughcut TV in the UK.
Jane Millichip, Managing Director, Sky Vision commented: “Over the past two decades, Jupiter has built an impressive track record in popular factual television, and has become a major supplier to a variety of US networks. We look forward to working with Stephen, who is one of America’s most prolific television executives, and his talented team. They have an exciting slate of returning series and new formats, and Jupiter will become an important partner for Sky Vision as we build our presence in the US market.”
Stephen Land, CEO and Executive Producer, Jupiter Entertainment commented: “We couldn’t be more delighted. Sky is an ideal strategic partner. Combining Jupiter’s strong domestic growth with Sky’s global reach creates thrilling possibilities. We have ambitious growth plans and believe our employees and network partners will all benefit from this exciting combination.“