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Gravity Media to Buy Chief Entertainment from Telstra

Gravity Media, the global provider of live broadcast facilities and production services, has agreed to acquire Chief Entertainment Pty Limited, the Sydney, Australia-based provider of live studio and production services, from telecommunications company Telstra Corporation Limited.

Gravity Media currently operates in Australia under the Gearhouse Broadcast, HyperActive Broadcast and Input Media brands and says this acquisition will complement its existing Input Media production centres in the UK as well as its Melbourne production and Sydney post-production facilities. The transaction has not yet completed and is expected to complete by the end of August, subject to certain conditions being satisfied.

Chief Entertainment will continue to operate under its existing name and branding until it is fully integrated with Gravity Media’s Australia operations. Hamish Cameron, CEO of Chief Entertainment, will be stepping down as CEO but will continue to work with Gravity Media as it integrates Chief’s operations with those of its existing Australian businesses. Under its new ownership, Chief Entertainment will continue to provide Telstra Corporation Limited with high quality production services for its enterprise division, digital sports rights and media services.

Chief Entertainment is a television and digital production company based in Artarmon on Sydney’s north shore. Chief provides production services and digital media delivery services to leading TV networks, sporting federations, entertainment franchises, agencies and commercial brands. With Telstra fibre connectivity in and out of the building, Chief Entertainment can send and receive content anywhere around the world at a moment’s notice. With around 50 staff, Chief produces short and long-form programmes for both live and post-produced, as well as branded content and commercials.

Chief Entertainment’s services include:

  • Live studio based short-form and long-form program productions;
  • 24/7 broadcast TV channel play-out and management (FTA, Pay, IPTV);
  • High quality video production services, post-production and motion graphics for branded content and television commercials;
  • Live Outside Broadcast (OB) television production management services;
  • Live event streaming and distribution management services;
  • Catch-up TV encoding and publishing services;
  • High quality live streaming and Video on Demand encoding for online, IPTV, and apps; and
  • Secure video encoding and digital media content management services.

This is the fifth acquisition that Gravity Media has made since securing substantial investment from TowerBrook Capital Partners in September 2016.

In 2017 it took over leading sports production company Input Media, to enable the business to offer end-to-end solutions including high-end production and technical facilities, and Australian communications solutions company Stranger Designs to expand its event communications offering.

In March 2018 it bought Genesis Broadcast Services and immediately rebranded it as Gearhouse Broadcast Germany to serve the production markets of Northern Europe. In July 2018 it acquired Proshow Broadcast, a leading supplier of mobile production solutions to broadcasters, producers and rights holders throughout the USA and Canada, which has since been successfully integrated into Gravity Media’s Gearhouse Broadcast USA operations.

Chief Entertainment’s key facilities at its Artarmon base include:

  • Two 100m2 HD studios and control rooms
  • A live event master control and presentation suite
  • Live broadcast and data fibre connectivity
  • Eleven HD/4K edit and design suites
  • An Avid Protools 5.1 audio post production suite
  • Make-up and green room facilities
  • Production office space

John Newton, Founder & CEO, Gravity Media, said: “Chief Entertainment has achieved significant external revenue growth over the past three years, has an impressive customer base and is respected for the quality of the work it delivers. Our Gearhouse Broadcast and Input Media businesses have worked with Chief Entertainment for many years and we see it as a natural fit with our existing businesses in Australia.

“Chief Entertainment’s strengths include strong relationships with major Australian national sporting bodies, music and entertainment industries, as well as the creation of multi-platform entertainment and corporate television programmes involving some of Australia’s premier talent. We look forward to working with the Chief Entertainment team to continue to grow our content production capabilities and deliver enhanced services to our clients.”

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