Sony walks into 2waytraffic

Acquisition of Dutch outfit boosts 'light entertainment' TV portfolio

Billing "light entertainment" as a headliner in its global expansion plans, Sony Pictures Entertainment said Wednesday that it now has "one of the largest game show portfolios in the world" after its $223 million acquisition of Dutch TV production outfit 2waytraffic.

The deal gives SPE new capabilities in the global light entertainment market, which includes games, variety and reality shows.

2waytraffic's portfolio of formats includes "Take It or Leave It," the global hit "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and "That's the Question."

"We believe that light entertainment is a part of the television landscape going forward and is a global business," said SPE chairman and CEO Michael Lynton said.

He added, "This opens the door to new content for us and brings to our business a solid distribution infrastructure, strengthening our position for an efficient rollout of formats internationally."

Said Michael Grindon, president of Sony Pictures Television International: "(This) will allow us to quickly grow our presence in the light entertainment arena. Our extensive experience in local-language television production, combined with 2waytraffic's incredible interactive distribution expertise, makes for a union of complementary strengths."

CEO Kees Abrahams will continue to lead 2waytraffic, which becomes a subsidiary of SPE. He reports to a board composed of executives from 2waytraffic and SPTI. (partialdiff)