21st Century Fox Eyes Joint Venture With Endemol, Core Media Owner Apollo
Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox has announced its intention to partner with private equity firm Apollo Global Management on a new venture, with television production companies Endemol, Shine Group and American Idol parent CORE Media Group falling under the umbrella of the group.
Should plans move forward, some of the biggest names in reality would be under one roof. Core, already acquired by Apollo in 2011, boasts Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. Endemol, which has a footprint that extends well-beyond unscripted, has Big Brother and Deal or No Deal.
Apollo has gained a controlling stake in the behemoth, and its annual output of more than 15,000 hours of original programming, over the course of the last three years. As for Shine Group, its reality stable includes The Biggest Loser, Gordon Ramsay's MasterChef franchise and The Face. Its been making a big push into scripted as of late, with FX's The Bridge and Fox's upcoming Broadchurch adaption: Gracepoint.
Meanwhile, American Idol is about to head into its season 13 finale, scheduled for May 20 and 21. So far, ratings on a revamped series haven't exactly made Fox execs sing – the show is down since its season 12 bow.
The deal talks come amid continuing consolidation in the TV production business. Among others, U.K. TV giant ITV's ITV Studios arm and ProSiebenSat.1's Red Arrow have acquired companies in Europe and the U.S.
"The parties have entered into a preliminary agreement, subject to a number of conditions, which calls for 21st Century Fox and funds managed by affiliates of Apollo to jointly own and manage the new joint venture," a statement from 21st Century Fox reads. "There can be no assurance that the proposed transaction will be completed."