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August 13, 2018
Sky Vision’s Barnaby Shingleton
By Joanna Padovano Tong
While formats are just one part of the diversified Sky Vision catalog, it’s an area that’s growing, albeit with a carefully curated approach. At any given time, the company is “actively pushing” some 35 to 40 formats, with current highlights including Duck Quacks Don’t Echo, 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy, The Great Pottery Throw Down, The Secret Life of the Zoo, Revolution, BattleBots, And They’re Off and I Don’t Like Mondays. Barnaby Shingleton, the director of entertainment and factual, talks to TV Formats Weekly about Sky Vision’s format catalog, trends he’s noticing and the strategy for this part of the business looking ahead.
TV FORMATS: How much of Sky Vision’s catalog is devoted to formats, and what percent of that comes from in-house production companies?
SHINGLETON: We’ve got somewhere in the region of 35 to 40 formats that we’re actively pushing at any one time, which is relatively modest. We don’t have an enormous catalog of content because we’re a relatively young company. We’re about five years old now; we were established by Sky via the acquisition of a production and distribution company called Parthenon. Since then, we’ve been really growing exponentially in terms of the scale of what we’re doing and also the genres that we are distributing. In addition to building our catalog from what was quite specialist factual-focused into popular factual, factual entertainment, entertainment formats as well as drama and comedy, we have a number of production companies in the U.K. and in the U.S. Sky Vision is not just a distribution entity, it’s also a production entity as well as a broadcaster and a network and a platform in Europe. When you look at our formats catalog, it is what I would call relatively modest but growing in terms of its scale.
Maybe 10, 20 percent [of our formats are produced in-house]. Some of our formats come via our channel, and a good example of that would be something like Duck Quacks Don’t Echo or 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy. Some are coming from our own production companies, so something like The Great Pottery Throw Down from Love Productions. We’re starting to sell the format rights to The Secret Life of the Zoo, which is from Blast! Films, and Znak & Co has Revolution. But I’d say the vast majority of our formats are actually third-party and acquired directly by us either as part of a bigger development deal or on an ad hoc basis. For example, BattleBots is a format that we’ve acquired from a third-party company.... Our big launches from last MIPCOM are And They’re Off and I Don’t Like Mondays, both of which are third-party formats. So we are acquiring content in lots of different ways.
This interview continues here.
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