Entertainment Rights

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Entertainment Rights
Former type Public
Industry Global media company
Fate Acquired by Boomerang Media
Successor(s) DreamWorks Classics
Founded 1989
Defunct 2009
Headquarters London, England, United Kingdom
Products Children and family television programming

Entertainment Rights Plc was a global media company. Its main role was in children and family television programming.[1] The group was established in 1989 as Sleepy Kids. In 1999 it became Entertainment Rights[2] and was focused on the creation and exploitation of major children's characters and brands. On 1 April 2009 Entertainment Rights was acquired by Boomerang Media (formed by the founders of subsidiary Classic Media),[3][4] in May 2009, Entertainment Rights and its subsidiaries and offices was absorbed into Classic Media,[5][6] and on July 23, 2012 Classic Media was purchased by DreamWorks Animation.[7]


Sleepy Kids[edit]

Sleepy Kids PLC (a.k.a. The Sleepy Kids Co. Ltd) was set up in 1989, by Martin and Vivien Schrager-Powell to produce Potsworth & Co. (a children's animated series the pair created) in partnership with Hanna-Barbera, and within a few months the company was floated on the stock exchanges. Sleepy Kids later went on to help produce Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop [8] and Budgie the Little Helicopter.

Between 1998 and 1999 the company expanded at a rapid rate. It acquired Siriol Productions[9] and merged with The Richard Digance Card Co, [Clipper Films Ltd. and Ridgeway Films Ltd. in December 1998. During 1999, Boom Boom Ltd. (the owners of Basil Brush), Carrington Productions International (owner of a library of children's animation films, from Ventureworld Films) and Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop were all brought as part of a long term plan to build a substantial business owning intellectual property rights.

The company was renamed to SKD Media just after these take overs but only lasted a year when the company was again renamed to Entertainment Rights.[10]

The company went on to expand by acquiring rights to properties from other studios such as Woodland Animations,[11] Varga London, Link Entertainment, Hibbert Ralph Entertainment, Broadway Video, Golden Books Entertainment, Little Entertainment Co. and the Maddocks Animation library in 2001.[citation needed] In 2004 they acquired Tell-Tale Productions[12][13] along with most of the rights to the Filmation library from Hallmark Entertainment.[citation needed] At the end of 2004, it employed on average 95 people.[citation needed] The company reported on June 30, 2005, that its turnover was £12.4 million. The company has also tried to take over Chorion but the offer was rejected.[14][15]

In 2005, a management buyout took place for Siriol Productions and was renamed Calon. The deal included all current project and some of the back catalogue, but most of the rights of previous made programmes and continued to beheld by Entertainment Rights.[16]

On 14 December 2006, Entertainment Rights announced it would acquire Classic Media for $210 million (£106.9 million). The deal was completed on 11 January 2007. Before the acquisition of Classic Media by Entertainment Rights was completed, both companies announced distribution and production agreements with Genius Products, LLC.[17]

In December 2008, Deborah Dugan (former president of Disney Publishing Worldwide) as the appointed Chief Executive Officer, which was part of a board or management changes to help sort out cash flow issues and allow the company to operate on a more stable footing.[18] Unfortunately by January 2009 the company has cut a third of its staff ands market value collapse from £267m in March 2007 to just £5.5m.[19] Three companies did enquire about buying the firm. This increase to six companies[20] by start of February when the company was fined £245,000 by Financial Services Authority for failing to inform shareholders of a potential $14 million earnings hit in a timely manner.[21]

This resulted in the company going into Administration on 1 April 2009[22][23] Within day Boomerang Media acquired all Entertainment Rights subsidiaries - ER, Big Idea and Classic Media, which finally sorted out all outstanding issues around the company.[24] Boomerang Media was created by the same people who owned Classic Media until it was sold to Entertainment Rights in 2006.

List of programmes and films[edit]

Some were made in conjunction with other studios:

Banksia Productions[edit]

Cosgrove Hall[edit]


  • For a full list of shows, films, shorts and specials, see Filmation.

Little Entertainment Co.[edit]

Maddocks Animation[edit]


Queensgate Productions[edit]

Silver Fox Animation[edit]

Sleepy Kids[edit]

Tell-Tale Productions[edit]



Varga London[edit]

Woodland Animations[edit]

  • Postman Pat (original series)
  • Gran
  • Bertha
  • Charlie Chalk
  • Postman Pat and the Toy Soldiers
  • Postman Pat Takes the Bus
  • Postman Pat and the Tuba
  • Postman Pat and the Barometer


  1. ^ "Corporate". Entertainment Rights. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  2. ^ "Entertainment Rights plc: Private Company Information - BusinessWeek". Investing.businessweek.com. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  3. ^ Hodkinson, Paul (April 2, 2009). "He-Man, Casper Bought by Private-Equity Firm". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  4. ^ "Boomerang Media Buys ER". World Screen News. April 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  5. ^ "Classic Media Absorbs Subsidiaries". Home Media Magazine. May 11, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  6. ^ "Entertainment Rights to Operate as Classic Media". Animation World Network. May 11, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  7. ^ Verrier, Richard (July 23, 2012). "DreamWorks Animation buys 'Casper,' 'Lassie' parent Classic Media". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  8. ^ "UK: Making it Tough for Tots - SLEEPY KIDS. - Leadership, business and management news, tips and features from MT and Management Today magazine". Managementtoday.co.uk. 1992-06-01. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  9. ^ 29 October 1999 (1999-10-29). "Skd Media To Buy Out Carrington Productions | News | Broadcast". Broadcastnow.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  10. ^ 26 November 1999 (1999-11-26). "SKD boosts overseas sales profile | News | Broadcast". Broadcastnow.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  11. ^ Entertainment Rights buys Postman Pat creator | News | C21Media
  12. ^ "Business | Tweenies maker bought for £3.1m". BBC News. 2004-09-13. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  13. ^ "Entertainment Rights PLC acquires Tell-Tale Productions Ltd (2004/09/13) - Thomson Financial Mergers & Acquisitions". AlacraStore.com. 2004-09-13. Retrieved 2011-11-15. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Welcome to the new mad.co.uk". Technologyweekly.mad.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  15. ^ "Business | Noddy owner rejects bid approach". BBC News. 2004-02-03. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  16. ^ August 1, 2005 by Lianne Stewart (2005-08-01). "Siriol heads south, and Lyons moves on". Kidscreen. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  17. ^ Genius Products[dead link]
  18. ^ "ER announces new CEO | Licensing Industry | News by". Licensing.biz. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  19. ^ Andrews, Amanda; Harrington, Ben (2009-01-07). "Three companies in talks to buy Entertainment Rights". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  20. ^ "Six bid for Entertainment Rights | Licensing Industry | News by". Licensing.biz. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  21. ^ "Now Entertainment Rights is hit with FSA fine | Licensing Industry | News by". Licensing.biz. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  22. ^ "Entertainment Rights is sold off". Thisismoney.co.uk. 2009-04-01. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  23. ^ Chas Tang. "Entertainment Rights Shareholders Action". Entertainmentrightsplc.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  24. ^ "Boomerang Media acquires Entertainment Rights' subsidiaries | Licensing Industry | News by". Licensing.biz. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  25. ^ http://www.imdb.com/company/co0054889/

External links[edit]