Liberty Global gets into the original content game

Perhaps inspired by the start of the latest series of Game of Thrones, Virgin Media owner Liberty Global is launching its own independent TV studio.

Liberty is partnering with investor TPG Growth to create the studio, which will be known as Platform One Media and will be run by the former CEO of Gaumont Television, Katie O’Connell Marsh. TPG will be the majority equity investor in the company and there’s no indication the content will necessarily be exclusive to Liberty-owned companies such as Virgin Media in the UK.

“The explosion of original content globally is creating an opportunity for new, innovative, and diverse ways to engage audiences beyond the series itself,” said O’Connell Marsh. “With Platform One Media, and our partners TPG Growth and Liberty Global, we are perfectly positioned to develop and distribute compelling narratives that are artistic, meaningful and addictive by working closely with innovative, inspiring talent to bring to life their creative visions.”

“Platform One Media has the key ingredients Liberty Global values in a strategic asset: great leadership, a clear vision and aligned, well capitalized partners,” said Bruce Mann, Chief Programming Officer at Liberty Global.  “It also gives us the opportunity to work with world-class talent creating high-quality scripted programming which could potentially feature on Liberty Global’s pay-TV platforms in Europe.”

“TPG Growth has a history of identifying and building companies, such as STX Entertainment, that can redefine their categories,” said Bill McGlashan, Founder and Managing Partner of TPG Growth. “Working with our partners at Evolution Media, we look forward to leveraging our collective experiences and networks in the entertainment space to build this business with Katie and her team.”

O’Connell Marsh has been involved in the production of high-profile TV content such as Narcos, Hannibal and Arrested Development. Content seems very much to be king among telcos these days as they search for margin and differentiation. If they’re going to compete with the liukes of Game of Thrones, however, TPG had better have deep pockets.

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