ITV swoops for So Television

Editor | 31-08-2012

After a very successful first half year, ITV Studios has continued its pre-eminence within the UK broadcaster by acquiring So Television, an independent UK production company behind a number of hit entertainment and comedy programmes.

The So portfolio includes The Sarah Millican Television Programme and The Graham Norton Show which stars the 12-year old firmís founder. Earlier in 2012 the BBC recommissioned one of the companyís main productions Ė The Graham Norton Show - through to 2014. The series is also distributed internationally and is broadcast in 100 other countries, including in peak time on Channel Ten in Australia.

Following the success of the first BBC2 series in the Spring, The Sarah Millican Television Programme has been recommissioned for a second run, which kicks off with a Christmas special. So Television also produces panel show Alexander Armstrongís Big Ask for Dave, which was recommissioned earlier this year.

Commenting on the deal, Norton said: "So TV has been our baby for 12 years, so Iím thrilled that the ITV family has decided to take it under their wing and help it blossom."

The acquisition fits with a key objective of ITVís five year Transformation Plan - to create world class content for multiple platforms, free and pay, both in the UK and internationally and increase ITVís capability in the production of high quality television entertainment programming.

ITV Studios will pay an upfront cash consideration of £10 million with a further cash payment contingent on So Televisionís profit performance to 31 July 2016. The maximum total consideration payable is £17 million.

Said Denise O'Donoghue, Managing Director, ITV Studios UK: "So Television is known for its creative rigour and intense quality-control across its programming, whether that is its crown jewel, The Graham Norton Show, or its newer but no less brilliant The Sarah Millican Television Programme.

"Its programming presence on other channels is strategically terrific for ITV Studios, which has increased its output this year with new shows across the BBC, Channel 4 and Sky. I am really looking forward to having So as part of ITV Studios, working with Graham Stuart and his team to add even more value to this dynamic and successful production company."