Entertainment Rights

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Entertainment Rights
IndustryGlobal media company
FateAbsorbed into Classic Media
SuccessorDreamWorks Classics
Founded1989; 30 years ago (1989)
Defunct2009; 10 years ago (2009)
ProductsChildren and family television programming
ParentBoomerang Media

Entertainment Rights was a media company with international business in the production and sales of Children's television series.[1][not in citation given] The business entity was first founded in 1989 as "Sleepy Kids". In 1999, the company was renamed "Entertainment Rights".[2]


In 1989, "Sleepy Kids" was founded by Martin and Vivien Schrager-Powell. It was created in order to produce Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone (Potsworth and Co. in the UK) a children's animated series. Schrager-Powell's business partner was Hanna-Barbera. Within months of the founding, Sleepy Kids became a public company. It produced Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop[3] and Budgie the Little Helicopter.[citation needed]

Between 1998 and 1999, Sleepy Kids expanded. In December 1998, the company merged with The Richard Digance Card Company, Clipper Films and Ridgeway Films. In 1999, the company acquired Siriol Productions.[4] Also in 1999, Sleepy Kids purchased Boom Boom (owner of Basil Brush), Carrington Productions International (owner of the Ventureworld Films and Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop.[citation needed]

Following these acquisitions, Sleepy Kids was renamed "SKD Media". In 2000, SKD Media was renamed "Entertainment Rights".[5] Entertainment Rights purchased the rights to programs from companies such as Link Entertainment (distributors for Woodland Animations)[6] Varga London, Hibbert Ralph Entertainment, and Maddocks Animation and Little Entertainment Company.[citation needed]

In 2004, Entertainment rights acquired Tell-Tale Productions[7][8] and rights to most of the Filmation library from Sonar Entertainment (Hallmark).[citation needed]

At the end of 2004, Entertainment Rights employed 95 people.[citation needed] In the 2005 financial year, Entertainment Rights' revenue was £12.4 million. The company bid for Chorion but the offer was rejected.[9][not in citation given][10]

In 2005, Siriol Productions came under new management. The company was renamed "Calon". Most of the rights to completed productions were kept by Entertainment Rights.[11]

On 11 January 2007, Entertainment Rights acquired Classic Media for US$210 million (£106.9 million). Before completion, both companies announced distribution and production agreements with Genius Products.[12]

In December 2008, the company appointed of Deborah Dugan, former president of Disney Publishing Worldwide, as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). There had been financial instability within the company.[13]

By January 2009, the company had dismissed one third of its employees. The company's market value decreased from £267 million in March 2007 to £5.5 million.[14] By February 2009, six companies had requested to purchase Entertainment Rights.[15] Also in February 2009, 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".[16]

On 1 April 2009, Entertainment Rights went into voluntary administration.[17][18] On the same day, Boomerang Media announced it had acquired all of Entertainment Rights subsidiaries including Entertainment Rights itself, Big Idea and Classic Media. [19] On May 11, 2009, Boomerang Media announced that the former U.K. and U.S. subsidiaries of Entertainment Rights would operate as a unified business under the name "Classic Media", while Big Idea would operate under its own name.[20] Boomerang Media was created by former owners of Classic Media until it was sold to Entertainment Rights in 2006.[citation needed]

In 2012, Classic Media was acquired by DreamWorks Animation.[21] DreamWorks Animation was then acquired by NBCUniversal in 2016, thus Universal Pictures gaining the rights to most of Entertainment Rights' catalogue of works.

List of licensed programs and acquisitions[edit]

Banksia Productions[edit]

Cosgrove Hall[edit]


Hibbert Ralph Entertainment[edit]

Link Entertainment[edit]

Little Entertainment Company[edit]

Maddocks Animation[edit]

Queensgate Productions[edit]

Sleepy Kids[edit]

Tell-Tale Productions[edit]



Woodland Animations[edit]



  1. ^ "Corporate". Entertainment Rights. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
  2. ^ "Entertainment Rights Plc: Private Company Information - Bloomberg". Bloomberg. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  3. ^ "UK: Making it Tough for Tots - Sleepy Kids". Management Today. 1992-06-01. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
  4. ^ "Skd Media To Buy Out Carrington Productions". Broadcast. 1999-10-29. Retrieved 2011-11-15.(subscription required)
  5. ^ "SKD boosts overseas sales profile". Broadcast. 1999-11-26. Retrieved 2011-11-15.(subscription required)
  6. ^ Waller, Ed (7 November 2001). "Entertainment Rights buys Postman Pat creator". C21Media. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Tweenies maker bought for £3.1m". BBC News. 2004-09-13. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
  8. ^ "Entertainment Rights acquires Tell-Tale Productions". Crisher Entertainment. 2004-09-13. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
  9. ^ "Welcome to the new mad.co.uk". Technologyweekly.mad.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2013-07-07. Retrieved 2013-05-31.
  10. ^ "Noddy owner rejects bid approach". BBC News. 2004-02-03. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
  11. ^ Lianne Stewart (2005-08-01). "Siriol heads south, and Lyons moves on". Kidscreen. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
  12. ^ "Genius Products announces long-term co-production and distribution agreements with Entertainment Rights PLC and Classic Media". Genius Products. Wayback Machine. 8 January 2007. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  13. ^ Roberts, Katie (2008-12-08). "ER announces new CEO". Licensing.biz. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
  14. ^ Andrews, Amanda; Harrington, Ben (2009-01-07). "Three companies in talks to buy Entertainment Rights". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
  15. ^ Loveday, Samantha (2009-01-26). "Six bid for Entertainment Rights". Licensing.biz. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
  16. ^ Loveday, Samantha (2009-01-23). "Now Entertainment Rights is hit with FSA fine". Licensing.biz. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
  17. ^ Daily Mail Reporter (2009-04-01). "Entertainment Rights is sold off". This is Money. Retrieved 2013-05-31.
  18. ^ Chas Tang (2009-08-10). "Entertainment Rights Plc - four months on". Entertainment Rights Shareholders Action. Retrieved 2013-05-31.
  19. ^ Loveday, Samantha (2009-01-23). "Boomerang Media acquires Entertainment Rights' subsidiaries". Licensing.biz. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
  20. ^ Tribbey, Chris (11 May 2009). "Classic Media Absorbs Subsidiaries". Home Media Magazine. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  21. ^ Verrier, Richard (July 23, 2012). "DreamWorks Animation buys 'Casper,' 'Lassie' parent Classic Media". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  22. ^ "Life post Pat". The Guardian. 15 January 2001. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  23. ^ "Postman Pat sold for Ł5m". BBC News. 2001-11-08. Retrieved 2017-04-24.

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