NBCUniversal to Take Full Ownership of Matchbox Pictures
NBCUniversal International Television Production today announced a further investment in Matchbox Pictures to take full ownership of one of Australia's most innovative independent production companies. The announcement was made by Michael Edelstein, President, NBCUniversal International Television Production.
The investment builds on an already strong creative partnership, which began when NBCUniversal acquired an equity stake in Matchbox in 2011. Full ownership by NBCUniversal positions Matchbox for future growth and enables the entity to fully explore opportunities internationally across the wider NBCUniversal family, and to continue to grow in scripted and unscripted. NBCUniversal will continue to provide a global infrastructure and distribution network for Matchbox's content outside of Australia and New Zealand.
Matchbox Pictures will continue to operate as a distinct entity led by Managing Director Chris Oliver Taylor. The creative team will be spearheaded by founders Penny Chapman and Tony Ayres on the scripted side of the business, and Kylie Washington on unscripted - the team will continue to be responsible for driving Matchbox creatively.
Michael Edelstein said: "Matchbox is one of the most exciting and dynamic production companies we have encountered. Penny Chapman, Tony Ayres and Kylie Washington have a fantastic creative track record and are incredibly well respected. We are excited by what the future holds and are keen to help their programs reach audiences around the world."
Matchbox launched in 2008 and develops and produces TV drama, comedy, documentary, young adult television and feature films with some of the most sought after writers and directors in Australia. It has achieved tremendous success with shows ranging from critically-acclaimed The Slap and The Straits to Nowhere Boys. The team is already working on a wide range of exciting upcoming projects for 2014, including three big projects for Foxtel and one for ABC1.
Chris Oliver-Taylor added: "We are thrilled to cement our successful relationship with NBCUniversal. The fact that NBCU have decided to fully-own the company is testament to both the wonderfully talented staff here at Matchbox and NBCU's confidence in Australia's creative industry, of which we are immensely proud to be a part."
In addition to Matchbox, NBCUniversal's portfolio of international production labels includes (in the UK) Carnival Films, Monkey Kingdom, Lucky Giant and Chocolate Media as well as a joint venture with Working Title Television and Lark Productions in Canada.