ITV Renews Deal With ‘Noughts + Crosses’ & ‘The Serpent’ Producer Mammoth Screen

BBC/ITV Studios

ITV has renegotiated its deal with Mammoth Screen, the British drama producer behind an upcoming BBC adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s Noughts + Crosses and BBC/Netflix series The Serpent.

ITV CEO Carolyn McCall revealed the renewal on a press call for the company’s annual results, which showed that revenue at production arm ITV Studios outstripped advertising turnover for the first time in ITV’s history.

The boom in scripted content has been a big part of this growth and Mammoth is among ITV’s most prolific scripted producers, having made shows including Poldark, The Pale Horse for Amazon and the BBC, and The War Of The Worlds, which was recently picked up by AMC.

ITV has had a long relationship with Mammoth. It took a 25% stake in the company, which is run by Damien Timmer, when it first launched in 2007. Eight years later, ITV fully-acquired Mammoth, although the financial details were not disclosed. “We’ve renewed their deal, so they were delighted about that,” McCall said. ACF brokered the agreement.

ITV Studios increased its revenue by 9% year-on-year to £1.9B ($2.5B) in the 12 months to December 2019, with a 37% rise in scripted revenue to £520M. McCall said the production business has been focused on organic growth over the past year, making early-stage investments, such as setting up a label with A Very English Scandal producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins.

ITV looked at acquiring Endemol Shine Group last year, but McCall said the valuation was “way too high.” The business was eventually acquired by Banijay Group in a $2.2B deal. McCall said ITV remains interested in major acquisitions and “would always look at something,” but is “very methodical” about its mergers and acquisitions strategy.

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