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Television content producer M&As more than doubled over last four years

Deal activity spiked in 2017, with 102 mergers and acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions between TV content producers have more than doubled in the time between 2013 and 2017 according to new figures from IHS Markit.

Activity grew at a 19.4 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), increasing from 42 deals in 2013 to 102 deals in 2017.

The report from IHS Markit says the UK was the most active market although in terms of market value, the US and China led the chart.

The leading production networks for mergers and acquisitions were ITV Studios and Fremantle Media, both of which invested in a large number of start-up content-production companies in the past few years. Of the 77 start-up companies launched between 2013 and 2017, 32 were drama specialists with nearly half of those launched in 2017.

“The rising number of industry mergers and acquisitions annually was fueled by a number of factors,” said Tim Westcott, director of research and analysis for programming, IHS Markit. “As advertising comes under pressure and audiences stray to on-demand platforms, broadcasters are exploring new revenue sources from content production and distribution. With increasing competition between traditional linear channels and online players, creating your own television content is a stronger option than licensing from third parties.”