Red Bee Media

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Red Bee Media Limited
Subsidiary of Ericsson
Industry Media
Founded 2005
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Key people
Patrick Tillieux
(Chief Executive Officer)
Andrew Court
(Chief Financial Officer)
Number of employees
Approximately 1,500 (Q1 2011)
Parent Ericsson

Red Bee Media is a media management company headquartered in west London, United Kingdom at the Broadcast Centre, with offices in Scotland and international offices in Australia, Paris, France, Berlin, Germany, Seville, Spain and Indonesia. Red Bee Media has 1,500 employees worldwide, including homeworkers and revenues of £153m in 2008–09. Red Bee Media is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ericsson.[1]

Clients include television broadcasters such as the BBC, UKTV, BSkyB and Channel 4 as well as brands such as Nike, Lonely Planet and Malaria No More. Red Bee Media transmits over 120 television streams on analogue, digital terrestrial, digital satellite, cable, web and mobile, among them all the domestic BBC channels (except for BBC Parliament, the production and playout of which is handled by Millbank Studios), along with international channels including BBC World News, BBC Worldwide and BBC Lifestyle and is viewed in over 200 countries and territories across the globe. It handles the majority of video on demand (VOD) services in the UK, including the BBC (BBC iPlayer) and Channel 4 (4oD).


Red Bee Media was formerly BBC Broadcast Limited. BBC Broadcast was created by the BBC in 2002, by placing a range of BBC channel creation and channel management services under one roof. It was part of an agreement with the British government to create a commercial division that could supplement the BBC's income from the television licence, thus keeping the licence fee increases down in the future. The other entities within the commercial division were BBC Worldwide, BBC Resources, BBC Ventures and BBC Technology.

On 1 August 2005, BBC Broadcast, together with its subsidiaries, was sold for £166 million to Creative Broadcast Services Limited, a company set up specifically for the purchase and jointly owned by Australian-based Macquarie Capital Alliance Group and Macquarie Bank Limited.[2] The company was renamed Red Bee Media on 27 October 2005. Shortly before the sale, BBC Broadcast bought Broadcasting Dataservices ("BDS") from BBC Worldwide thus strengthening the EPG and programme metadata offering.

The sale of BBC Technology to Siemens Business Services in 2004 leaves only BBC Worldwide and BBC Studios and Post Production as commercial BBC companies.

On 1 July 2013, Ericsson announced it would acquire Red Bee Media.[3] On 30 September the transaction was referred to the Competition Commission, amid fears the deal would reduce competition in the playout sector. The deal was cleared by the commission on 27 February 2014[4] and Ericsson completed its acquisition of Red Bee Media on 12 May.[5]


In addition to playout services, Red Bee Media provides "creative services" such as creation of advertisements, promotions and trailers for radio, television and interactive television and "access services" such as subtitling, signing and audio description for the BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5 programming. Red Bee Media also provides compliance, media management, design and support services, like encoding and editing video for mobile phone operators and VOD and IPTV operators such as the BBC iPlayer, Orange [6] and UK cable company Virgin Media.

Red Bee Media operates interactive television for the BBC, UKTV and others and provides webmaster services for BBC Online and other websites. It markets complex design systems for television such as its sports analysis tool called Piero, which is a 3D sport graphic system designed to analyse sports on TV.

Through its BDS subsidiary, Red Bee also provides programme listings services.

In 2006 the company purchased the commercial operations of the Australian Caption Centre (ACC) in 2006 for A$7.5 million (GBP3.2 million),[7] rebranding them as Red Bee Media Australia in March 2007.[8] The remaining part of the ACC became the not-for-profit Media Access Australia.

Red Bee Media also opened a subtitling division in Paris, France in January 2007 where they subtitle for the French TV channel M6.

In March 2008 Red Bee Media acquired Titelbild Subtitling and Translation GmbH, the European multilingual subtitling and translation service providers, enabling Red Bee Media to offer high quality translation services into many languages as well as expanding Red Bee Media into the German market.

In October 2008, Red Bee Media acquired Mundovisión, the largest independent subtitling and audio description company in Spain. Alongside the recent acquisition of Titelbild in Germany, the addition of Mundovisión consolidated Red Bee Media’s position as Europe’s largest supplier of subtitling, signing and audio description services to the media industry.

In August 2011 Red Bee Media purchased TV Genius.[9]


  1. ^ "Ericsson completes acquisition of Red Bee Media". Ericsson. 12 May 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "BBC Broadcast sell-off approved". BBC News. 22 July 2005. Retrieved 11 December 2008. 
  3. ^ "Ericsson to acquire leading media services company Red Bee Media" (Press release). Ericsson. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Bevir, George (27 February 2014). "Ericsson's Red Bee deal green-lit". Broadcast. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Ericsson completes acquisition of Red Bee Media". Ericsson. 12 May 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Orange brings digital TV service to life" (Press release). Red Bee Media. 8 September 2007. Retrieved 15 October 2007. 
  7. ^ "Red Bee Media Australia" (Press release). Red Bee Media Australia. Retrieved 11 December 2008. 
  8. ^ "Red Bee Media launches Australian Broadcast Centre" (Press release). Red Bee Media Australia. 6 June 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2007. 
  9. ^ Red Bee boosts content discovery with TV Genius buy

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