Worldwide sales success sparks new deal

between distributor and producer


TCB Media Rights, the London-based rights-ownership and distribution business, reports a string of US and European sales and pre-sales for Combat Trains (8 x 60 mins) and Combat Ships (10 x 60 mins), produced by fast growing Bob & Co indie Woodcut Media. Among the prestigious broadcasters to have acquired one or both of the series are Smithsonian Channel in the US and RTL Germany’s news and documentary channel n-tv.

The intense US and European interest in the Combat franchise has also prompted TCB Media Rights and Woodcut Media to enter into a strategic development partnership, under which both parties will work together to co-create, fund and distribute new factual projects with international appeal and high revenue potential.

In addition to Smithsonian Channel and n-tv, Combat Trains has been sold to TV Spektrum in Poland, FTV Prima in the Czech Republic, and Auto TV in Russia and the CIS. The series, which examines the pivotal role played by trains in the major wars of the past 150 years, debuted in November 2015 on A+E Network UK’s H2, where it doubled the channel average of male viewers aged 16-34. Through expert interviews, authentic reconstruction, engineering graphics and archive, the series tells the dramatic human and mechanical stories of trains in times of conflict, from the American Civil War through the First and Second World Wars to Vietnam.

n-tv Germany and Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific (for Japan) have also pre-bought Combat Ships, which follows a similar template to Combat Trains by examining the impact of naval vessels on the course of world history. France RMC Découverte has also acquired the series, which is set to premiere on H2 in the UK in early 2017. From 18th century ships of the line, through the primitive submarines of the American Civil War to today’s nuclear warships, Combat Ships tells the stories of the world’s greatest naval vessels, crews, battles and disasters through the eyes of veterans, maritime experts and historians.

Kate Llewelyn-Jones, MD of TCB Media Rights, said: “This flurry of deals for the Combat titles — and I’ve seldom seen such interest in a franchise — is proof of the pent-up demand for premium factual content about military and naval history. On the back of such success, establishing a development partnership between TCB and Woodcut seemed an obvious next step. Nobody tackles factual content with more truth, balance and authority than Woodcut. With their creativity and our commercial acumen, we are confident we can achieve great things.”

Kate Beal, CEO Woodcut Media said: “The TCB team are right on ‘track’ when it comes to selling Combat Trains and Combat Ships into key territories as these deals demonstrate.  We are absolutely thrilled with the interest in this series that highlights the ongoing demand for high-end factual docs.  We are also delighted to be extending our relationship with TCB and working more strategically on development over the coming months. The TCB team has an excellent understanding of broadcaster needs and coupled with our creative strength in factual programming we’re excited to take new projects to the market together. It’s formalizing a great partnership and Woodcut is proud to call TCB our friends and allies.”

About TCB Media Rights

TCB Media Rights was established in late 2012 by Paul Heaney, who served as president and managing director of Cineflix Rights, where he built the business from a boutique operator into a major distributor. A specialist in factual, factual entertainment and formats, TCB Media Rights offers a full suite of distribution services, employing its international contacts, experience and knowledge to ensure that every project fulfils its maximum potential.  

With more than 110 titles in its rapidly expanding portfolio, TCB Media Rights’ has more than 60 producer-partners from around the world, including Arrow Media, Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder, GroupM Entertainment, Icon Films, Like A Shot Entertainment, Seven Productions and Wag TV. Its broadcaster clients include Channel Nine Australia, Channel Seven Australia, Discovery Networks International, France TV, National Geographic, Planete, RMC, SBS Australia, Sky TVNZ, TV4 Sweden and UKTV.

About Woodcut Media:

With offices in London and Hampshire, Woodcut Media, a member of the family of Bob & Co businesses, is one of the fastest growing indies in the UK producing a broad range of factual programming. In addition to being one of the leading true crime producers in the UK (Holloway: Women Behind Bars, The Krays: The Prison Years and Murder Casebook), Woodcut Media’s rapidly growing catalogue also includes specialist factual series (Defenders of the Sky and Combat Trains),premium one off docs (The Ivy, Cut From A Different Cloth and Mandela, My Dad and Me featuring Idris Elba) and factual entertainment shows (Around the World in 80 Tricks and Animal Antics). Woodcut Media’s operations are spearheaded by leading doc producer Kate Beal, alongside former BBC exec Derren Lawford as Creative Director and former Lion TV founder Jeremy Mills as Chairman.