Canadian toon powerhouse DHX has acquired Ragdoll Worldwide from BBC Worldwide and a group including the founder of Ragdoll, Anne Wood for GBP 17.4 million (approximately CAD $28.4 million) in cash.
Under the agreement, DHX Media will own 12 series, including popular U.K series The Adventures of Abney & Teal, BAFTA-winning Dipdap and Brum, in addition to 365 episodes of Teletubbies, 52 episodes of Teletubbies Everywhere and 100 episodes of In the Night Garden. Ragdoll Worldwide’s flagship properties, Teletubbies and In the Night Garden, have achieved significant commercial success since inception through strong broadcast and licensing programs. Teletubbies has aired in over 120 countries and its enduring resonance with children is further underscored by the fact that its top five postings on YouTube have gained a cumulative 286,000,000 views.
Michael Donovan, CEO of DHX Media, said:
“Teletubbies and In the Night Garden are worldwide phenomena. These globally recognized brands will be highly complementary to the DHX Media library, which is now one of the largest independent libraries of children’s TV content in the world. As a leading supplier to subscription video on-demand (“SVOD”) services worldwide, and as an operator of our own SVOD, we are uniquely positioned to continue to develop these evergreen children’s properties in exciting new ways and we also look to maintain a continuing link with Anne Wood, one of the most experienced and passionate producers in the business.”
Ragdoll Worldwide was established as a joint venture in 2006 between BBC Worldwide, BBC’s commercial arm, and Anne Wood’s production company, Ragdoll Ltd. Acclaimed children’s TV producer Anne Wood was awarded a CBE in the 2000 Millennium Queen’s Honors List for her services to children’s broadcasting and is responsible for some of the world’s most recognized children’s programming creations.
Anne Wood, founder of Ragdoll Productions Ltd and co-creator of Teletubbies with Andrew Davenport, who also created In the Night Garden said:
“The sale of Ragdoll Worldwide will procure future growth for Ragdoll Productions and, with the passing of creative control for the future development of our catalogue of award-winning programs to DHX Media, we are confident of their continued success for many years to come.”
Wood and her son, Christopher, will continue to manage and operate their own company, Ragdoll Productions, for which she will serve as Founder and Creative Director.