STV chief said to be hopeful of US breakthrough

THE chief executive of STV is reportedly hoping an antiques show made by the company’s production arm can make a breakthrough into the US market.

Rob Woodward is quoted in today’s Scotland on Sunday, talking about Antiques Road Trip.

Writes Peter Ranscombe: “[Crime drama] Taggart was sold to 70 countries but did not crack the US. Now Woodward hopes the format for his antiques 
series, in which experts ‘set off on a road trip searching for treasures and competing to make the most money at auction’, will be snapped up and turned into an American version.”

Ranscombe also writes of a joint pilot programme – First Dance  (with US production company, Kinetic Content, with whom STV has struck a formats deal) – that Woodward is describing as having “network-quality production” of a level not seen before on his channel, along with a budget of £100,000.

Says Ranscombe: “He hopes the 
pilot will attract the attention of a UK-wide broadcaster, which could lead to a full 
series being commissioned.”

And he continues: “Selling a programme into the American market isn’t the only international expansion on Woodward’s mind. STV is also mulling options for 
selling content to the Scottish diaspora, which could number up to 40 million people.

“Woodward remained tight-lipped about his plan, but 
selling versions of STV’s news reports or other programming over the internet is thought 
to feature highly among the options.”

Woodward – who became STV chief executive five years ago after a spell as commercial director at Channel 4 – is quoted, as saying: “I’ve always said that I had three aims to fulfil at STV: 
stabilise the company, then grow the production business and look at ways to grow services that could appeal to an international market.”

Pic: Graeme Hunter.