Modern TV

Origins

The managing directors were both born in Wales and have always had a desire to build a company based here. They wanted to prove that programmes of excellent quality and substance could be produced from outside the M25 and the opportunity arose when additional money was made available to new companies based outside of the South East of England. The main challenge was credibility, since very little network material is commissioned from Wales. However, both MD’s have a strong track record in producing material for network and excellent links with talent, crews and facilities which provided a firm base on which to build the company. Another major challenge was to convince London Commissioners to use staff outside of the M25, to create a strong research and development team who can regularly come up with suitable ideas for network, to find a niche (literary biographies and ‘specials’ for anniversaries and memorials) and build from this quality non-fiction base to land mark series within three years; and to target specific channels – so that they built a number of suppliers.

Success Factor

The main success factors were (a) the ability to pitch the right idea to the right slot with passion and conviction, back this up with excellent programme making skills, and the ability to bring it in on budget (b) access to and use of first Class presenters such as Griff Rhys Jones, Terry Jones, Joanna Lumley and Jeremy Paxman and (c) constant knocking on doors and approaching key commissioners who would be interested in what the firm has to offer, and selling it to them.

The Future

The company aims to build on its series success and follow up its recent "Landmark Documentary" series, Rivers, with a second series and also suggest another idea with a different presenter since the MDs are convinced the network than they can make what they want. The company also wants to secure a regular long running daytime series, make more ambitious international documentaries that target key international markets, maximise revenue from auxiliary markets like international sales, DVD, and books, and supplying programmes for other broadcasters such as Channel 4.