UK: The sale by Gravity Media Group (GMG) follows a recent strategic review, writes David Davies. Formerly the OB arm of GMG - which is arguably best-known to PSN-e readers as the owner of the Gearhouse Broadcast group of companies - 021 Television boasts a lengthy client list including ITV, Sky, IMG and the BBC.
021 Television was originally part of the ITV Group before being sold to GMG in 2006. Now, thanks to a "multi-million pound" deal, SIS LIVE has added to its own portfolio of OB trucks - many purchased during the BBC Outside Broadcasts division acquisition of 2008 - with 021 Television's OB fleet, as well as taking on the company's customer contracts and all 23 of its personnel.
Phil Aspden (pictured), commercial director of SIS LIVE, commented: "We are acquiring six large OB trucks, including three of the latest high-definition vehicles, which have a strong appeal to the wider broadcast market. We have also met with 021's customers to talk about their contracts, and they are happy the business is going to an established company like ours. We are looking forward to building on the excellent relationships that 021 have developed over many years and providing an even greater range of SIS LIVE services and increasing the depth of support."
Surveying GMG's future with regard to the OB services business, GMG chief executive director John Newton tells PSN-e: "Gravity Media Group remains a strong believer in the future strength of the UK OB Sector, and through its remaining UK operating company Gearhouse Broadcast it is one of the largest rental suppliers of broadcast equipment and expects that to develop further both with SIS and with the market as a whole following the sale of 021."
With more than 70 years' experience of covering major sporting and other national occasions, SIS LIVE currently provides facilities and personnel to cover high-profile events including Formula 1, Wimbledon and the London Marathon.