Sky Buys Into U.K. TV Producers True North, Chrysalis Vision

Courtesy of Sky

The European pay TV giant, in which 21st Century Fox owns a 39 percent stake and of which it is looking to take full control, has continued to grow its TV production and distribution business.

European pay TV giant Sky, in which 21st Century Fox owns a 39 percent stake and of which it is looking to take full control, is continuing to grow its TV production and distribution business. On Monday, it said it has bought a majority stake in U.K. producer True North and a stake in British  drama production company Chrysalis Vision.

"Over the last three years, Sky has expanded its production capabilities, under the Sky Vision banner, with a series of investments in select strategic partners, to sit alongside its wholly-owned production business Sky Vision Productions," the company highlighted.

As part of the agreements, Sky Vision will become the commercial and distribution partner for content worldwide, for both True North and Chrysalis Vision. Existing terms with other networks and distributors remain unchanged.

True North, which was founded in 2001 and is run by factual producers Jess Fowle and Andrew Sheldon is the biggest factual indie in the North of England. The company, which was previously backed by Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund, is headquartered in Leeds with a second base in Manchester, and is responsible for a number of hit series, including A New Life in the Sun, Teen Mom UK, Building the Dream, Junior Vets on Call, The Lie Detective and Breaking the Silence Live

Financial terms weren't disclosed. Channel 4 is exiting its investment with the deal.

Sky has also invested in Chrysalis Vision, which was founded by Chris Wright, Mick Pilsworth, Roger Parry and Luke Johnson. Again, terms weren't announced. Top executives of the company created ITV series Midsomer Murders.

"Our primary focus is high-end long running returnable drama series," the company says on its website. In announcing the deal, Sky said the company "has a substantial, wide-ranging slate in development."

Said Jane Millichip, managing director at Sky Vision: “We’re excited to be investing in True North. Jess and Andrew have a fantastic reputation for creating and delivering high quality returnable series. We’re also delighted to be working with Mick and Chris, who have a great track record in building successful, creative businesses, and the whole team at Chrysalis Vision which will bolster our drama ambitions."