UK pay TV operator BSkyB has taken a 70% stake in Love Productions, the UK producer of shows including The Great British Bake Off.
Sky said Love founders Richard McKerrow and Anna Beattie will remain with the factual entertainment specialist along with the existing senior management team. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Love makes the Bake Off format as well as Great British Sewing Bee and factual shows examining social issues including benefits and immigrations including Benefits Street and Make Bradford British.
Bake Off is the company’s biggest show and the one that has generated the most success outside the UK. It is distributed by BBC Worldwide, which has sold it into several territories. It has also been sold to CBS in the US, in a deal brokered by Love itself, outside of the distribution deal with Worldwide.
Upcoming shows will be sold by Sky’s distribution division, Sky Vision, which has been seeking to enlarge its catalogue.
Sophie Turner Laing, Sky’s outgoing managing director, content, Sky said: “This is a significant step for our growing international content business. Love is one of the UK’s most innovative and creative independent producers with a track record of success across a range of genres, both in the UK and globally”.
McKerrow and Beattie added: “We feel it’s the perfect time to be working with a group who can help us realise our creative and commercial potential and fulfill all of our international ambitions for the Love brand.”
The pair, who founded the company in 2004, added: “Love has always sought to be a pioneering company, launching new ideas and breaking new ground. Sky feels like a company of the future, full of dynamic and extremely creative leaders who will back our independent spirit and are keen to support all our future ambitions.”