London: Expansion into the lucrative North American market was a key rationale for Carlton Communications’ US$150-million acquisition of the 5,000-hour ITC program library from PolyGram in January.
Carlton International finance director William Medlicott, who handled the valuation of the deal, says, ‘North America is an area that we, as a company, feel we should be developing into. And we believe this library has exploitation potential there.’
According to Medlicott, the price of the deal was determined by the very clear sales potential that about 30% of the catalog has.
‘There are a number of classic television series and movies that will be marketable in their own right, and have spin-off potential,’ he says. ‘But there is also a large rump of material that will take some time to absorb effectively.
Key kids titles in the ITC library include Joe 90, Captain Scarlett and Thunderbirds. These, along with the acquisition of movies such as Sophie’s Choice, The Boys From Brazil and On Golden Pond, are seen as central to Carlton’s ambitions to launch thematic channels in the U.K.
Medlicott said a channel launch had been a consideration in making the purchase.