STV Productions Invests in Primal Media


STV Productions has picked up a majority stake in unscripted producer Primal Media from Lionsgate as part of its efforts to accelerate its content-creation business.

Primal Media was set up by Adam Wood and Mat Steiner in 2016 and has produced such shows as Release the Hounds for ITV2, Bigheads for ITV and Carnage for Sky One. Earlier this year the company entered a strategic partnership with STV Productions to co-develop formats targeting U.K. and international broadcasters. Lionsgate will retain a minority stake, with the remaining equity held by the founders of Primal. There is no upfront consideration payable by STV and the agreement includes the option for STV to acquire the remaining shares in the future.

David Mortimer, managing director of STV Productions, said: “I am delighted to forge a closer relationship with Primal Media, which complements the strong track record in entertainment we have thanks to the work of Gary Chippington and his team. I’ve known Adam and Mat for many years and have always thought of them as two of the U.K.’s most talented entertainment producers. I’m looking forward to working on bringing some really ambitious unscripted projects to screen with them and their fantastic team.”

Wood, joint managing director of Primal Media, added, “When we started talking to David about a regional partnership earlier this year, it quickly became apparent that our goals and strategies for growing Primal were very closely aligned. We are delighted that this relationship has rapidly developed and now look forward to creating new hit shows.”

STV Productions has also announced a number of recommissions, including Inside Central Station, Antiques Road Trip, Celebrity Antiques Road Trip and Celebrity Catchphrase. STV Productions will produce a new quiz format, The Cash Machine, for STV.

Simon Pitts, STV’s chief executive, said, “It’s a little over a year since we set out our new strategy to deliver production and digital growth and re-establish STV as a creative force in Scotland and beyond. With a new team fully in place we are building real momentum and delivering encouraging results. Programming successes like recent drama The Victim for BBC One demonstrate our growing creative strength, and the acquisition of Primal Media—whose founders have an unrivaled track record of devising hit entertainment formats—will further strengthen our creative pipeline as we seek to become one of the U.K.’s leading producers. Our digital vision is for the STV Player to become Scotland’s digital destination. With our Sky launch later this year we will be universally accessible across Scotland for the first time, offering a fantastic range of exclusive, live and on-demand content from STV and a range of other broadcasters, on a free or subscription basis. The highlight of the autumn will be exclusive coverage of all 48 matches of the Rugby World Cup, streamed live on STV and the STV Player in full HD. We look forward to maintaining this rapid progress, delivering our strategy and generating attractive returns for our shareholders.”