Gravity Media Acquires Chief Entertainment in Expanding Australia Presence

The Sydney-based firm provides live studio and production services

Gravity Media has agreed to acquire Chief Entertainment Pty Ltd, a leading Sydney-based provider of live studio and production services, from Telstra Corp. Ltd, Australia’s leading telecommunications and technology company.

Gravity Media’s John Newton sees Chief Entertainment “as a natural fit with our existing businesses in Australia.”

According to Gravity Media founder/CEO John Newton, 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,” he says. “Chief Entertainment’s strengths include strong relationships with major Australian national sporting bodies, music and entertainment industries, as well as the creation of multiplatform entertainment and corporate television programs 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.”

Gravity Media currently operates in Australia under the Gearhouse Broadcast, HyperActive Broadcast, and Input Media brands, and this acquisition will complement the existing Input Media production centers in the UK as well as its Melbourne production and Sydney postproduction facilities. The transaction is expected to be completed 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. Chief Entertainment CEO Hamish Cameron will be step down as CEO but will 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 high-quality production services to Telstra’s enterprise division, digital sports rights, and media services.

Chief Entertainment is an innovative television- and digital-production company based in Artarmon on Sydney’s north shore. It provides production services and digital-media–delivery services to leading TV networks, sports federations, entertainment franchises, agencies, and commercial brands. With Telstra fiber connectivity in and out of its facility, Chief Entertainment can send and receive content anywhere around the world at a moment’s notice. With around 50 staffers, Chief produces both live and postproduced short- and long-form programs, 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 playout and management (FTA, Pay, IPTV); high-quality video-production services, postproduction, and motion graphics for branded content and television commercials; live remote-production–management services; live-event-streaming and -distribution–management services; secure video-encoding and digital-media content-management services including VOD.

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 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 rightsholders throughout the U.S. 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 house two 100-square-meter HD studios and control rooms, live-event master-control and presentation suite, live broadcast and data fiber connectivity, 11 HD/4K edit and design suites, an Avid Protools 5.1 audio-postproduction suite, and support facilities.