Entertainment Rights was a media company with international business in the production and sales of Children's television series. The business entity was first founded in 1989 as "Sleepy Kids". In 1999, the company was renamed "Entertainment Rights".
|Industry||Global media company|
|Fate||Absorbed into Classic Media|
|Products||Children and family television programming|
In 1989, "Sleepy Kids" was founded by Martin and Vivien Schrager-Powell. It was created in order to produce Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone (Potsworth and Co. in the UK) a children's animated series. Schrager-Powell's business partner was Hanna-Barbera. Within months of the founding, Sleepy Kids became a public company. It produced Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop and Budgie the Little Helicopter.
Between 1998 and 1999, Sleepy Kids expanded. In December 1998, the company merged with The Richard Digance Card Company, Clipper Films and Ridgeway Films. In 1999, the company acquired Siriol Productions. Also in 1999, Sleepy Kids purchased Boom Boom (owner of Basil Brush), Carrington Productions International (owner of the Ventureworld Films and Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop.
Following these acquisitions, Sleepy Kids was renamed "SKD Media". In 2000, SKD Media was renamed "Entertainment Rights". Entertainment Rights purchased the rights to programs from companies such as Link Entertainment (distributors for Woodland Animations) Varga London, Hibbert Ralph Entertainment, and Maddocks Animation and Little Entertainment Company.
On 11 January 2007, Entertainment Rights acquired Classic Media for US$210 million (£106.9 million). Before completion, both companies announced distribution and production agreements with Genius Products.
In December 2008, the company appointed of Deborah Dugan, former president of Disney Publishing Worldwide, as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). There had been financial instability within the company.
By January 2009, the company had dismissed one third of its employees. The company's market value decreased from £267 million in March 2007 to £5.5 million. By February 2009, six companies had requested to purchase Entertainment Rights. Also in February 2009, Entertainment Rights was fined £245,000 by the Financial Services Authority for failing to inform shareholders of "a potential $14 million earnings hit in a timely manner".
On 1 April 2009, Entertainment Rights went into voluntary administration. On the same day, Boomerang Media announced it had acquired all of Entertainment Rights subsidiaries including Entertainment Rights itself, Big Idea and Classic Media. On May 11, 2009, Boomerang Media announced that the former U.K. and U.S. subsidiaries of Entertainment Rights would operate as a unified business under the name "Classic Media", while Big Idea would operate under its own name. Boomerang Media was created by former owners of Classic Media until it was sold to Entertainment Rights in 2006.
In 2012, Classic Media was acquired by DreamWorks Animation. DreamWorks Animation was then acquired by NBCUniversal in 2016, thus Universal Pictures gaining the rights to most of Entertainment Rights' catalogue of works.
List of licensed programmes and acquisitions
- The Curiosity Show
- Hot Science
- Kids Down Under
- The Music Shop
- Discworld (co-produced with Channel 4, Carrington Productions International, Egmont Imagination and ITEL)
- Lavender Castle (co-produced with Carrington Productions International)
- Postman Pat (2003)
- Postman Pat and the Greendale Rocket
- Postman Pat and the Pirate Treasure
- Postman Pat Clowns Around
- Postman Pat's Magic Christmas
- Rupert Bear, Follow the Magic...
- For a full list of shows, films, shorts and specials, see List of works produced by Filmation.
Hibbert Ralph Entertainment
- The First Snow of Winter (co-produced with Link Entertainment and BBC)
- The Forgotten Toys (both the TV series and the special; co-produced with United Productions, Meridian Broadcasting and Link Entertainment)
- The Second Star to the Left: A Christmas Tale (co-produced with BBC)
- Spider! (later sold to Evergreen Entertainment)
- Animal Antics
- Barney (co-produced with Barney Entertainments Ltd)
- Bill the Minder (produced by Bevanfield Films)
- Christopher Crocodile (co-produced with Mixpix and BBC)
- Fairy Tales (produced by Bevanfield Films)
- Ethelbert the Tiger (co-produced with Millimages)
- Eye of the Storm (co-produced with Meridian Broadcasting and Pater Tabern)
- Grabbit the Rabbit
- Jack and Marcel
- The Morph Files (co-produced with Aardman Animations)
- Orm and Cheep
- Preston Pig (co-produced with Varga London)
- Tales of a Wise King
- The Slow Norris (co-produced with HTV)
- The Spooks of Bottle Bay (co-produced with Fugitive/Playboard Puppets and Carlton Television)
- Teddybears (co-produced with United Productions)
- There's A Viking In My Bed (co-produced with BBC)
Little Entertainment Company
- Little Red Tractor
- Merlin the Magical Puppy
- Transformers: Animated (co-produced with Hasbro, Takara Tomy, The Answer Studio, MOOK DLE, Studio 4°C and Cartoon Network Studios)
- Transformers: Armada (co-produced with Hasbro, Takara Tomy, Æon, Dangun Pictures, Hangzhou Feilong Animation Ltd, M.S.J. Musashino-Seisakujo, Paramount Domestic Television and SD Entertainment)
- Transformers: Cybertron (co-produced with Hasbro, Takara Tomy, We've Inc, TV Aichi, GONZO, Sun Woo Entertainment and Voicebox Productions)
- Transformers: Energon (co-produced with Hasbro, Takara Tomy, We've Inc, ACTAS, Inc., A-CAT, Studio Galapagos and TV Tokyo)
- For a full list of shows and details, see Woodland Animations.
- Blippi (co-produced with Blippi LLC and Equinoxe Films)
- Cubeez (co-produced with Cubeez Ltd. and Optical Image Broadcast for GMTV)
- Custer's Last Stand-up (co-produced with BBC and RTÉ)
- Dr Otter (co-produced with Red Balloon Productions)
- Finley the Fire Engine (co-produced with RHI Entertainment)
- Inuk (co-produced with Tube Studios)
- Katie and Orbie (2001-2002; co-produced with Amberwood Entertainment)
- The New Adventures of He-Man (co-produced with Jetlag Productions)
- Titch (co-produced with Hutchins Film Company and Yorkshire Television)
- "Corporate". Entertainment Rights. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- "Entertainment Rights Plc: Private Company Information - Bloomberg". Bloomberg. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
- "UK: Making it Tough for Tots - Sleepy Kids". Management Today. 1 June 1992. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- "Skd Media To Buy Out Carrington Productions". Broadcast. 29 October 1999. Retrieved 15 November 2011.(subscription required)
- "SKD boosts overseas sales profile". Broadcast. 26 November 1999. Retrieved 15 November 2011.(subscription required)
- Waller, Ed (7 November 2001). "Entertainment Rights buys Postman Pat creator". C21Media. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
- "Tweenies maker bought for £3.1m". BBC News. 13 September 2004. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- "Entertainment Rights acquires Tell-Tale Productions". Crisher Entertainment. 13 September 2004. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- "Welcome to the new mad.co.uk". Technologyweekly.mad.co.uk. Archived from the original on 7 July 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- "Noddy owner rejects bid approach". BBC News. 3 February 2004. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- Lianne Stewart (1 August 2005). "Siriol heads south, and Lyons moves on". Kidscreen. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- "Genius Products announces long-term co-production and distribution agreements with Entertainment Rights PLC and Classic Media". Genius Products. Wayback Machine. 8 January 2007. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
- Roberts, Katie (8 December 2008). "ER announces new CEO". Licensing.biz. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- Andrews, Amanda; Harrington, Ben (7 January 2009). "Three companies in talks to buy Entertainment Rights". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- Loveday, Samantha (26 January 2009). "Six bid for Entertainment Rights". Licensing.biz. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- Loveday, Samantha (23 January 2009). "Now Entertainment Rights is hit with FSA fine". Licensing.biz. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- Daily Mail Reporter (1 April 2009). "Entertainment Rights is sold off". This is Money. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- Chas Tang (10 August 2009). "Entertainment Rights Plc - four months on". Entertainment Rights Shareholders Action. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- Loveday, Samantha (23 January 2009). "Boomerang Media acquires Entertainment Rights' subsidiaries". Licensing.biz. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- Tribbey, Chris (11 May 2009). "Classic Media Absorbs Subsidiaries". Home Media Magazine. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
- Verrier, Richard (23 July 2012). "DreamWorks Animation buys 'Casper,' 'Lassie' parent Classic Media". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
- "Life post Pat". The Guardian. 15 January 2001. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
- "Postman Pat sold for Ł5m". BBC News. 8 November 2001. Retrieved 24 April 2017.