Boat Rocker Media has acquired unscripted production company Matador Content, which is behind Paramount Network’s Lip Sync Battle. Following the cash and stock transaction, Matador founders Jay Peterson and Todd Lubin remain at the helm as the company joins the Boat Rocker group. This deal marks Boat Rocker’s largest expansion into the US market.
Founded in early 2013, Matador has produced such series as Emmy nominated Lip Sync Battle, Boy Band (ABC), What Would Diplo Do? (Vice), The Rape of Recy Taylor (The Orchard), The Who Was? Show and Fight World (Netflix), Master of Arms (Discovery Channel), Banksy Does New York (HBO), and Lip Sync Battle Shorties (Nickelodeon). As part of Boat Rocker Media, Matador is expected to ramp up its development slate across all genres and get access to new sources of financing for pilots and series going forward.
This deal marks Boat Rocker’s third acquisition in 2018, having previously acquired Fremantle’s Kids & Family division as well as a majority stake in Insight Productions, a leading Canadian unscripted production company (The Amazing Race Canada, Big Brother Canada, Top Chef Canada).
Under the terms of the agreement, Matador Content’s name and leadership will remain while its creative and production teams. Boat Rocker and Matador Content will together focus on targeting intellectual property and accelerating its path to the global content marketplace.
“We are thrilled to partner with Jay, Todd and the entire Matador team, as Boat Rocker continues to expand its capabilities as a global studio with a focus on premium content production and brand building,” said David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg, Co-Executive Chairmen, and John Young, CEO, of Boat Rocker Media. “While we have seen meaningful success in the US market with some of our own original series, we believe that, together with Matador, we will make an even bigger mark in very short order.”
Boat Rocker has over 600 employees across its Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, London, Ottawa, and Hong Kong offices, 750 half hours of content produced annually by its scripted, unscripted and kids & family divisions, and with a distribution library now totaling over 7,000 half hours.
“We have achieved incredible things over the past five years because of the amazing team of people at Matador. Boat Rocker gives us access to a premier financing and global distribution arm that will accelerate our growth and allow us to do even more with our creative and broadcast partners,” said Jay Peterson and Todd Lubin, co-founders of Matador. “We have gotten to know the Boat Rocker team well over the past several years and believe this union perfectly suits the vision we have for our company’s future.”
For Boat Rocker, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Stikeman and Elliott served as legal counsel and TD Securities served as an advisor on the transaction. For Matador Content, CAA and Evolution Media Capital advised on the transaction and Sidley Austin LLP and Hansen, Jacobson, Toberman, Heller and Newman served as legal counsel.