Ahead of a planned Capital Markets Event for analysts and investors, STV announces a number initiatives designed to accelerate its digital and production growth.
“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.” – Simon Pitts, Chief Executive
The vision for STV Productions is to build a world class production business, based in Scotland, that takes full advantage of the growing local and global demand for high quality content is top of the Glasgow-based company’s plans. As part of this vision, STV has acquired a majority stake in unscripted producer Primal Media from the previous majority investor Lionsgate.
Founded in 2016 by Mat Steiner and Adam Wood, Primal Media has already created a range of successful formats including RTS award-winning Release the Hounds for ITV2, Rose D’Or-winning Bigheads for the ITV network and Sky One series Carnage.
This acquisition follows the strategic partnership announced by STV and Primal Media in February and will enable STV to realise full value from Primal’s current and future programming slate. This includes current comedy series Jerk for BBC Three and two new programmes for Channel 4,
both currently in production.
“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 unrivalled track record of devising hit entertainment formats – will further strengthen our creative pipeline as we seek to become one of the UK’s leading producers.” – Simon Pitts, Chief Executive
STV Productions’ primary objective remains securing returnable and returning series commissions. The company have announced the recommission of six-part series Inside Central Station for BBC Scotland, which will go into production later this year. Further recommissions of BBC Two’s Antiques Road Trip and BBC One’s Celebrity Antiques Road Trip, as well as Celebrity Catchphrase for ITV, are also confirmed, all for 2019 transmission.
Following the critical and popular success of drama series The Victim for BBC One, STV’s next drama production, Elizabeth is Missing, also for the Beeb, begins filming in Scotland next month. Two-time Academy Award winner Glenda Jackson will take the lead role.
Additionally STV Productions will produce new quiz format, The Cash Machine, for STV. The six-part peak time entertainment series, hosted by Lorraine Kelly, is the first example of STV using its broadcast platform to pilot a high potential format, with filming commencing later in the summer.
“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.” – Simon Pitts, Chief Executive
The broadcasting side of the company also aim to make STV Player Scotland’s digital destination, creating an STV for everyone. STV Player’s launch on the Sky platform remains on track for the end of 2019 and will enable universal availability of STV Player in Scotland for the first time.
New features continue to be introduced to the STV Player across mobile, TV and web. These include ‘live restart’ on all live streaming platforms, ‘next episode autoplay’ and ‘end of play recommendations’, all designed to create a seamless and increasingly personalised viewing experience. ‘Picture in Picture’ will be launched across web and mobile shortly, allowing viewers to keep their favourite live shows on screen while they work.
“We look forward to maintaining this rapid progress, delivering our strategy and generating attractive returns for our shareholders.” – Simon Pitts, Chief Executive