Entertainment Rights

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Entertainment Rights
Industry Global media company
Fate Acquired by Boomerang Media
Successor DreamWorks Classics
Founded June 23, 1989
Defunct December 31, 2009
Headquarters London, England, United Kingdom
Products Children and family television programming
Parent Boomerang Media
DreamWorks Animation

Entertainment Rights Plc was a global media company. Its main business was in children's and family television programming.[1] The group was established in 1989 as Sleepy Kids; it was renamed in 1999 to 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, which was formed by the founders of subsidiary Classic Media.[3][4] In May 2009, Entertainment Rights and its subsidiaries and offices were absorbed into Classic Media,[5][6] later on July 23, 2012 Classic Media was purchased by DreamWorks Animation [7] and as of August 22, 2016, DreamWorks Animation (including DreamWorks Classics) are owned by NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast.


The company began life as Sleepy Kids Plc, also called The Sleepy Kids Co. Ltd., which was founded in 1989 by Martin and Vivien Schrager-Powell to produce Potsworth & Co., a children's animated series the pair created. The company was in partnership with Hanna-Barbera, and within a few months of its inception, it was floated on the stock exchanges. Sleepy Kids later went on to co-produce Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop [8] and Budgie the Little Helicopter.

Between 1998 and 1999 the company expanded rapidly. 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 bought as part of a long-term plan to build a substantial business owning intellectual property rights.[citation needed]

The company was renamed to SKD Media just after these takeovers. A year later the company was renamed to Entertainment Rights.[10]

The company expanded by acquiring rights to properties from other studios such as Link Entertainment (who distributed programs produced by Woodland Animations,[11] Varga London, Hibbert Ralph Entertainment, and Maddocks Animation, among others) and Little Entertainment Co. in 2001.[citation needed] In 2004 they acquired Tell-Tale Productions[12][13] and most of the rights to the Filmation library from Hallmark Entertainment.[citation needed] At the end of 2004, Entertainment Rights employed on average 95 people.[citation needed] The company reported on 30 June 2005 that its turnover was £12.4 million. The company also tried to take over Chorion but the offer was rejected.[14][15]

In 2005, a management buyout of Siriol Productions occurred; it was renamed Calon. The deal included all current projects and some of the back catalogue, but most of the rights of previously made programmes continued to be held by Entertainment Rights.[16] On 14 December 2006, Entertainment Rights announced it would acquire Classic Media for US$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, the company appointed of Deborah Dugan, former president of Disney Publishing Worldwide, as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). This was part of a number of management changes to remedy cashflow problems and allow the company to operate on a more stable footing.[18] By January 2009 the company had cut a third of its staff and its market value collapsed from £267 million in March 2007 to just £5.5 million.[19] By February 2009, six companies had enquired about buying Entertainment Rights.[20] Also at the start of February, Entertainment Rights was fined £245,000 by the 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 days, Boomerang Media acquired all Entertainment Rights subsidiaries—ER, Big Idea and Classic Media, which resolved all outstanding problems around the company.[24] Boomerang Media was created by former owners of Classic Media until it was sold to Entertainment Rights in 2006.[citation needed]

List of programmes and films[edit]

Some were made in conjunction with other studios, while many others were brought into the companies portfolio with acquisitions and takeover. A few of the shows are only licensing deals, and Entertainment Rights never created certain series, such as Postman Pat.

Banksia Productions[edit]

Cosgrove Hall[edit]


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

Hibbert Ralph Entertainment[edit]

Link Entertainment[edit]

Little Entertainment Co.[edit]

Maddocks Animation[edit]

Queensgate Productions[edit]

Sleepy Kids[edit]

Tell-Tale Productions[edit]



Woodland Animations[edit]



  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 acquires Tell-Tale Productions". CrisherEntertainment.com. 2004-09-13. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  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. ^ Lianne Stewart (2005-08-01). "Siriol heads south, and Lyons moves on". Kidscreen. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  17. ^ Genius Products Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  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/
  26. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/g2/story/0,3604,593494,00.html
  27. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/1644976.stm

External links[edit]