Sale of studios confirms Irish screen industry’s successful audition

Ardmore and Troy set to become part of major US operator amid streaming boom

Abigail Cowen as Bloom in Netflix’s Fate: The Winx Saga, filmed at Ardmore Studios. Photograph: Netflix

Abigail Cowen as Bloom in Netflix’s Fate: The Winx Saga, filmed at Ardmore Studios. Photograph: Netflix

Your Web Browser may be out of date. If you are using Internet Explorer 9, 10 or 11 our Audio player will not work properly.
For a better experience use Google Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

 

With the screen entertainment industry moving seamlessly from the “peak TV” to “peak streaming” era, it isn’t a huge plot twist when owners of film and TV studios find their assets are in demand.

Still, the sale of Ardmore and Troy Studios to an American consortium – Hackman Capital Partners, its studio operator affiliate MBS Group and investment house Square Mile Capital Partners – shows how much the drama in this hot market has escalated. As Joe Devine, head of sellers Olcott Entertainment, said, “the industry is transforming before our eyes”.

The incoming experienced hands could hardly be placed much better to make sure Troy Studios in Limerick – the biggest film studio in the State – and Ardmore Studios, near Bray in Wicklow, can capture recurring roles in the frenzied content industry as it ratchets up again after a pandemic pause.

The nature of the studio business today is that facilities can swing from empty to booked-up status in just one magic deal. The model is already well-known in Northern Ireland after the multiyear success story that was HBO’s tenancy of Titanic Studios for its Game of Thrones production.

Troy is occupied by Foundation, a science fiction series that will soon debut on Apple’s streaming service Apple TV Plus, while Netflix teenage series Fate: The Winx Saga is in situ at Ardmore.

Search for space

Netflix and Apple are not the only streamers in search of leased studio space. With Co Wicklow’s Ashford Studios home to Netflix’s Vikings: Valhalla and other planned Irish studios yet to come on stream, it recently fell to Dublin’s RDS conference centre to house Disney’s production of fantasy comedy Disenchanted. And Disney’s ambitions, as it seeks to populate Disney Plus, are considerable: an eye-catching explosion of its European television production activity was announced earlier this year.

That the sale of Ardmore and Troy has occurred the day after another potential client, Amazon Prime Video, remarkably said it was shifting production of its mega-bucks Lord of the Rings series from New Zealand to the UK – most likely Scotland – from its second season onward only underlines how much potential business is up in the air here, waiting for the right spotlight to shine.

Business Today

Get the latest business news and commentarySIGN UP HERE
The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.