ITV breaks into US reality TV market with $360m deal
UK broadcaster will aquire Leftfield Entertainment, producers of shows such as Pawn Stars and Real Housewives of New Jersey
ITV, which broadcasts reality shows such as “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here in the UK”, is hoping to have similar success in the US, through its acquisition of Leftfield Entertainment.
ITV, the UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster, has agreed to acquire a controlling stake in Leftfield Entertainment Group for $360 million (€258m) to become the largest unscripted independent producer in the US.
ITV will pay the amount in cash for an 80 per cent stake in Leftfield, the London-based broadcaster said in a statement today. The acquisition, which will add to earnings immediately, has gained regulatory approval, ITV said.
Leftfield, an independent producer of reality programs, sold its first series in 2008. It also owns Sirens Media and has established two joint ventures, with the businesses producing more than 300 hours of unscripted programming, including Pawn Stars and Real Housewives of New Jersey.
ITV has been reducing its dependence on advertising by investing in content creation and by acquiring production assets under chief executive officer Adam Crozier, the former head of Royal Mail Group Plc who took over in 2010.