UPDATE: Just after announcing half-year results this morning, ITV said it has acquired Norwegian production company Mediacircus and has joined forces with Israeli broadcaster Reshet in a strategic development and production partnership. The moves fall in line with the company’s transformation plan as it aims to build a strong international content business. Mediacircus, which will become part of ITV Studios Nordic, produces factual and documentary programming. It currently produces the ITV Studios format Come Date with Me. Reshet develops and produces original drama and entertainment formats including Comedians At Work, Step Family and The Money Pump. Among its original dramas are A Touch Away, which has been licensed by HBO, and Life Is Not Everything, licensed by Sony Studios. Sharon Gelbaum-Shpan will head the venture’s Israeli office.
PREVIOUS: ITV chief exec Adam Crozier’s 5-year transformation plan at ITV is still underway and “gaining momentum.” The broadcaster reported its half-year results on Thursday morning with growth across all business areas. External revenues were up 10% to £1.13B with big increases at ITV Studios, the production arm of the group which increased by £91M for a 34% jump over the comparable period. Crozier said ITV was on track to deliver cost savings of £20M this year. He also noted the group now has positive net cash of £92M compared with £612M of net debt at the end of 2009. At ITV Studios, there were 61 new commissions and 61 re-commissions in the first half of the year with eight original programs now produced in three or more countries. ITV also said it expects non-advertising revenue to be flat at the end of the third quarter. “While we remain cautious about the outlook for the TV advertising market for the remainder of 2012, we expect to outperform it for the year as a whole,” the company said.