Barclays Bank has launched a £100M ($125.6M) fund earmarked for UK TV production companies. Roughcut Television, the indie production company behind shows such as Trollied, Cuckoo and People Just Do Nothing, will be the first outfit to benefit from the new fund, which is the first of its kind from a major UK bank.
Barclays said the aim is to give UK TV outfits improved access to finance and enhance their ability to compete internationally in an era where streaming services are increasingly tightening their grip on the content business. The bank said it recognized that the rise of the SVOD market presented Brit TV producers with cash flow challenges, with payments to producers spread over a much longer term compared to traditional challenges.
As a result, the bank’s Media team developed Barclays SVOD Financing as part of the $125M fund to more closely match the funding requirements of companies working with SVOD distributors, enabling companies to use the funds to develop more ideas and programs.
“The creative industries in the UK are world famous due to the range of quality and content they produce,” said Lorraine Ruckstuhl, Head of Media at Barclays Corporate Banking. “The TV industry specifically is in a really exciting place and is evolving at pace, with more than 250,000 people in the UK employed in this sector.
“We’ve been supporting TV production with a dedicated Media team for over 30 years and know that to meet the needs of our clients, we have to adapt with them and with the viewing habits of the public. That’s why we created this fund and developed Barclays SVoD Financing to help UK SMEs continue to compete both in the UK and internationally, support increased employment and create even more great programmes.”
In the case of Roughcut, Barclays is bank purchasing the company’s Netflix receivable, giving Roughcut the upfront cash benefit of the multi-year contract for streaming of its comedy Cuckoo.
“Netflix are notorious for paying over a long period,” said Roughcut’s Commercial Director Tim Sealey. “Our arrangement with Barclays enabled us to get the cash much earlier, which meant that we could put it to work by investing in further development. Another side benefit is that it improves our relationship with the writers and artists as they get their royalties quicker too.”