SPTI invests in start-up U.K. indie


LONDON -- Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) has made an undisclosed financial investment in start-up indie factual entertainment company Gogglebox Entertainment, launched by former Lion Television executives Mat Steiner and Adam Wood, it was announced Thursday.

The new venture, in which Sony will take an equity stake in return for international distribution rights, will create and produce entertainment and factual entertainment formats for the U.K.

"As we expand our non-scripted business in Europe, we are delighted to invest in Mat and Adam's new company" said SPTI senior vp Antony Root.

"In their earlier careers they have created and produced highly successful non-scripted formats for the U.K. and international markets. We look forward to working closely with them to establish Gogglebox as a premier, independent U.K. entertainment producer," he added.

Prior to launching Gogglebox Wood was head of entertainment at Lion TV and Steiner was head of creative, working on a range of formats including "Playing It Straight" and "Mum's on Strike." Before that Wood was head of entertainment at Endemol U.K. and Steiner founded boutique format venture Rose Bay.

Sony's investment extends a U.K. independent production company portfolio that also includes a minority stake in Elisabeth Murdoch's Shine Entertainment.